Your inbox approves 50 🏈 storylines Meet Team USA ⚽ 🏈 Record projections

Watch PK that ended USWNT's World Cup reign: Alyssa Naeher nearly makes miracle save

U.S. women's national team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher starred in the team's World Cup round of 16 loss against Sweden and − if not for a millimeter − almost kept the U.S. alive.

Sweden defeated Team USA 0-0 (5-4), sending the U.S. to its earliest exit in a World Cup. The U.S., four-time winners of the event, struggled during the group stage, but saw its performance dramatically improve against Sweden. The only deficiency for the American side was finishing and putting the ball in the back of the net.

Naeher played particularly well Sunday, and when the USWNT needed her to make a stop on Sweden forward Lina Hurtig's penalty kick attempt to extend the match, Naeher did just that. The only issue was that the deflected ball bounced just over the line before Naeher could bat it away.

Upon review, it was determined that the penalty would count, eliminating the U.S.

Here are other pivotal moments during the penalty kick showdown.

WORLD CUP CENTRAL: 2023 Women's World Cup Live Scores, Schedules, Standings, Bracket and More

Kelley O'Hara's missed penalty kick

With the margin tied at 4-4, USWNT defender Kelley O'Hara stepped up to the spot and saw her shot curl off the right post and bounce away.

Sophia Smith's missed penalty kick

With a chance to give the USWNT the victory, Sophia Smith, a 22-year-old forward, had her attempt sail just right of the right post, opening the door for Sweden to tie and extend the match with more penalty kicks.

Megan Rapinoe's missed penalty kick

Forward Megan Rapinoe, one of the more reliable and consistent USWNT players, was the first U.S. player to miss a penalty kick Sunday against Sweden, seeing her attempt sail over the right side of the crossbar.

Featured Weekly Ad