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Sweden
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United States
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USA eliminated in penalty shootout: Sweden end USWNT's Women's World Cup run by slimmest of goal-line margins

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The U.S. women's national team's quest for an unprecedented three-peat ended on Sunday in Melbourne, when the team lost 5-4 on penalties to Sweden in the Women's World Cup round of 16. This marks the earliest ever exit for the USWNT at the World Cup.

The four-time champions were dominant during 120 minutes of play, which was the result of head coach Vlatko Andonovski tinkering with his lineup. Emily Sonnett started while Rose Lavelle missed out with a yellow card suspension, and Andonovski switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 against Sweden.

Trinity Rodman also returned to the lineup after Lynn Williams took her spot against Portugal, and made her minutes count from the start. She outmaneuvered Sweden's defense early and had a few meaningful shots of her own, which became a pattern during this match. The USWNT quickly stifled Sweden, who aimed to pick up chances on the counterattack but could not muster much as the first half went on. By contrast, the USWNT put out their first dominant performance of the tournament and seemed to correct course after an uneven group stage. The score was level at halftime, but the USWNT was on the front foot.

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The second half played out much like the first, with Williams providing a spark off the bench. The Americans continued to take chances that looked sure to go in, but Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic was impressive and there to meet every last chance in front of her. The rhythm persisted even in extra time, despite the introduction of Megan Rapinoe. The USWNT notched 22 shots and 11 on target -- more than they had in any other game during the World Cup -- but failed to score and were doomed to enter a penalty shootout.

The first stroke of luck in the shootout went the Americans' way when Nathalie Bjorn sent her penalty over the crossbar, but Rapinoe followed up and did the same. Alyssa Naeher then made a save on Rebecka Blomqvist's shot, only for Sophia Smith to miss hers and then send the shootout to sudden death. The USWNT finally gave the edge to Sweden when Kelley O'Hara's penalty hit the post, allowing Lina Hurtig to grab the winning spotkick despite Naeher getting a touch on the ball.

Sweden advance and play Japan in the quarterfinals on Friday, while the USWNT will go home with plenty of questions to answer about what's next.

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SWE 5-4 USA

Naeher gets a touch on Hurtig's penalty but the ball crosses the line. Sweden are through, and the USWNT are eliminated. This is the earliest exit for the USWNT at a World Cup.

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SWE 4-4 USA

O'Hara's penalty hits the post, which means Sweden can win if they score.

 
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SWE 4-4 USA

Eriksson scores her penalty to keep Sweden alive.

 
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SWE 3-4 USA

Naeher steps up and scores.

 
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SWE 3-3 USA

Bennison scores, and now we're off to sudden death penalties.

 
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SWE 2-3 USA

Smith sends her penalty wide, giving Sweden another opportunity to level and send it to sudden death.

 
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SWE 2-3 USA

Naeher dives to her left and saves Blomqvist's penalty! USWNT win if they score the next one.

 
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SWE 2-3 USA

Rapinoe also sends it over, giving Sweden an opening to level.

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