by SIMON KENT at breitbart.com
The international career of Megan Rapinoe ended in a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Sweden on Sunday with her failed kick at goal helping to send the U.S.A. team crashing out of the soccer World Cup underway in New Zealand and Australia.
Rapinoe and Sophia Smith missed penalties that could have given the U.S. the win, and Kelley O’Hara missed the Americans’ final shot to give Sweden the opening it needed.
In an interview after the dramatic finish to the contest staged in Melbourne, Australia, Rapinoe said: “I mean, this is like a sick joke. For me personally, this is like dark comedy that I missed a penalty. This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game. I think it can be cruel.”
The result ended the international career of Rapinoe, the Golden Boot winner of the 2019 tournament who is retiring after the World Cup.
It is the earliest exit in tournament history for the United States, four-time winners of the World Cup.
The United States claimed the last two Women’s World Cups and four of the eight editions held before this year’s event Down Under.
They had never gone out before the semi-final stage.
This time they have been sent packing in the last 16 having won just one game and that an unconvincing 3-0 defeat of Vietnam.
Brought off the bench against Sweden, her final act for her country was to put her penalty over the bar and send her country’s hopes with it into oblivion.
Plenty of soccer fans on twitter moved to voice their exasperation with her final effort.read more