US excited about big moment with France

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 26 Jun 2019

Megan Rapinoe is looking forward to the United States' quarter-final date with Women's World Cup hosts France after two penalties from her lifted her side past resilient Spain 2-1.

The reigning champions face France in Paris on Saturday (HK time), and Rapinoe sees it being a big moment in the tournament.

"It's going to be incredible for the women's game," she says. "You have two heavy hitters ... everything you want."

Rapinoe struck from the spot in the seventh and 75th minutes in the last-16 match played in sweltering conditions in Reims. But the Americans must improve after being pushed all the way by Spain.

And the small portion of the crowd not supporting the USA reacted furiously after the winning penalty was given for what looked a very slight touch on Rose Lavelle from Virginia Torrecilla.

"I didn't touch her," a distraught Torrecilla claimed, saying the referee "blew for that penalty as it was the United States."

American fans had thought it would be an easy afternoon after Rapinoe's first penalty, but Spain soon stunned them.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher played a sloppy pass to Becky Sauerbrunn and Lucia Garcia took the ball from her feet before feeding Hermoso, who delivered a super strike.

In Paris, goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl made a brilliant second-half penalty save as Sweden beat Canada 1-0 to advance to a quarter-final against Germany.

Stina Blackstenius scored the only goal.

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