The USWNT are out of the Women’s World Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout defeat to Sweden.
It was Lina Hurtig, via goalline technology, who netted the winning penalty with her kick adjudged to have crossed the line when Alyssa Naeher thought she had kept it out.
Nathalie Bjorn and Rebecka Blomqvist of Sweden and Megan Rapinoe and Sophia Smith all missed in regulation before Kelley O’Hara missed the seventh kick for the US.
Hurtig then stepped up to score, by millimetres, to send the defending champions home.
Sweden are now through to face Japan in the last eight.
Here’s what happened and how goalline technology works…
What happened in the USWNT vs Sweden game?
With scores still level in the shootout, O’Hara’s miss via the right-hand post left Hurtig the opportunity to send Sweden through with Sweden’s second sudden death kick.
She struck her kick at goal only for goalkeeper Naeher to get a hand to the ball before it spun back towards goal.
Naeher grasped to keep it out at the second attempt but goal-line technology showed that the ball — by a matter of millimetres — had indeed crossed the line, sparking jubilant scenes for Sweden and despair for the US.
What is goalline technology?
Goalline technology (GLT) has been a staple of football ever since it was introduced back in 2014. It is now used routinely across the world game, including at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
GLT allows it to be determined whether the whole of the ball has crossed the line to confirm whether a goal should stand or not.
How does it work?
The technology uses a number of cameras positioned around the stadium to produce an image of where the ball was at the time of the incident and, crucially, whether it crossed the line entirely and therefore whether a goal should be awarded or not.
The information is “transmitted within one second”, according to FIFA, before it is relayed to the match referee, who received the information via a watch on their person.
After a decision is made the data from the cameras is used to create a 3D animation for the screens inside the stadium and for television viewers watching from home.
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Does GLT use the same technology as semi-automated offside?
Semi-automated offside is being use at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
However, GLT cameras are purely focused on the two goal areas and do not cover the entire field of play. Therefore, they are not used for semi-automated offside technology.
How does extra-time work?
In the case that two teams cannot be separated in normal time, there will be a period of extra-time.
As is usually the case, that extra-time period will be 30 minutes long in total; split into two 15-minute halves. If a winning team still cannot be determined, a penalty shootout will follow.
Read more: What are World Cup extra time and penalties rules? How do they work?
What has been said?
US captain Lindsey Horan said: “I’m so proud of the team. A lot went into this performance and it was changing gears, playing like us and playing our style.
“We were confident and patient and we played beautiful football today. We entertained, we created chances but we didn’t score and that’s part of the game.
“Penalties, to be frank, they suck! They’re cruel, I’ve gone through too many in my career. I’m proud of every player who stepped up to take a penalty today. Score or miss, it shows courage to take a penalty so I’m proud of the team.”
Head coach Vlatko Andonovski added: “So proud of the team, so proud of the girls, of the women on the field. I know they were criticized — or we were criticized for the way we played, I know we were criticized for different moments in the group stage — I think we came out today and showed what we were all about. Showed the grit, the resilience, the fight, the bravery, showed everything that we could to win the game and, unfortunately, soccer can be cruel sometimes.
“The message (post-game) is that this is something we’ve worked on, this is something we’re ready for, we’ve been working on penalties for the last nine months, last 10 months, something like that and it’s just sometimes you’re not going to hit the right one.”
USWNT out of World Cup after shootout loss to Sweden: Instant analysis