Women's World Cup round-up: USA into last eight after two penalties as Sweden also progress
USA will now play hosts France in last eight; Sweden will play Germany
Last Updated: 26/06/19 10:35am
USA needed two Megan Rapinoe penalties, one of them controversially confirmed after a lengthy VAR review, to beat Spain 2-1 on Monday and set up a quarter-final clash with hosts France at the Women's World Cup.
The winning spot-kick was subject to much debate but Rapinoe converted it with 15 minutes left after her opening penalty had been cancelled out by Jennifer Hermoso early in the first half.
After breezing through the group phase, holders USA lacked inspiration and conceded their first goal of the tournament as Spain rose to the occasion in searing heat at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.
France, who USA will meet in Paris on Friday for a place in the last four, scraped through the last 16 with a 2-1 win against Brazil after extra time on Sunday.
It took USA only seven minutes to break the deadlock as Tobin Heath was brought down in the area, with Rapinoe coolly converting the resulting penalty.
USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, however, was not at her best and poor positioning allowed Hermoso to equalise two minutes later with a lob into the net.
The champions were still all over Spain, though, and Rapinoe twice came close as Heath tormented the defence on the right.
Spain defended well although they lost midfielder Vicky Losada, who was replaced by Nahikari Garcia, because of swelling around her eye following a clash early in the game.
The Spanish centre backs did a great job at containing Alex Morgan and USA seemed short of ideas up front.
Their salvation came when Rose Lavelle fell in the box after slight contact with Virginia Torrecilla, prompting referee Katalin Kulcsar to award a penalty, which was confirmed by VAR review to Spain's understandable frustration.
Rapinoe buried the spot kick and, with only 15 minutes left, USA controlled the rest of the game.
In Monday's late game, Stina Blackstenius fired Sweden into the quarter-finals, but they needed a penalty save from Hedvig Lindahl to edge out Canada 1-0 in Paris.
A slow-burner of a game finally came to life in the second half, with Kosovare Asllani at the heart of it. It was the former Manchester City midfielder who raced downfield and played an inch-perfect pass for Blackstenius to open the scoring - with the game's first shot on target just shy of the hour mark.
But it was also Asllani who was penalised for handball eight minutes later, before Lindahl denied Janine Beckie from the spot.
Sweden broke the deadlock just before the hour as Asllani charged down the left before sliding the ball across for the on-running Blackstenius to chip it over Stephanie Labbe.
That brought Canada to life and they had their chance with a little over 20 minutes to go when Desiree Scott's shot struck Asllani on the arm from point-blank range.
Beckie stepped up and struck her penalty well, but not well enough to beat the quick dive of Lindahl, who was soon swamped by team-mates.
Sweden then thought they had a penalty of their own when Ashley Lawrence went through the back of Fridolina Rolfo but VAR determined there was an offside in the build-up.