Women's football: USA already out at the World Cup - four teams celebrate

With tears in her eyes, Megan Rapinoe tried to comfort her distraught teammates.

Women's football: USA already out at the World Cup - four teams celebrate

With tears in her eyes, Megan Rapinoe tried to comfort her distraught teammates. But the world-famous star player from the USA was just as overwhelmed by her feelings. The defending champion and record winner lost to Sweden in the round of 16 at the World Cup - and that dramatically.

In the 4:5 (0:0, 0:0) penalty shoot-out, Lina Hurtig's decisive Swedish goal was checked using goal-line technology, the ball was only just behind the line.

The four-time world champion had never finished worse than third place in a final round, but had to tremble in the preliminary round this summer. Coach Vlatko Andonovski gathered his dejected players on the pitch for a long time after the final whistle - his job should be in question.

The Swedes, on the other hand, celebrated their coup exuberantly, in regular time they were clearly inferior. Only with great difficulty and thanks to the strong goalkeeper Zecira Musovic Sweden saved themselves on penalties. In the quarter-finals on Friday (9.30 a.m. CEST) against Japan. "I'm so happy, I don't know how we did it, we fought as a team," said Magdalena Eriksson on ARD. The party song "Dancing Queen" by Sweden's iconic band ABBA was played in the stadium.

The Japanese had already beaten Norway 3-1 on Saturday. In the first quarter-finals on Friday (3:00 a.m. CEST), Spain meets the Netherlands. The Spaniards clearly beat Switzerland 5-1 on Saturday with German coach Inka Grings. The Netherlands, with former Bundesliga coach Andries Jonker, followed suit with a 2-0 win over South Africa on Sunday.

Oranje star player injured

In the case of Oranje, however, disappointment mixed with the euphoria. Star player Danielle van de Donk was booked in the 67th minute and will be suspended against Spain. "We came with the belief that we can beat anyone," Jonker said. "That includes all teams, including Spain. It means it's not Danielle's last game. We want to beat Spain, then she can get back into the tournament."

In the Football Stadium in Sydney, former Munich and Wolfsburg native Jill Roord gave the favorites an early lead after a corner (9'). The South Africans kept up well, but in the second half Lineth Beerensteyn made the final score (68') after a serious mistake by South Africa's goalkeeper Kaylin Swart.

Switzerland also failed at the World Cup

Grings spoke to her players for a long time after losing to Spain. "We can be proud of how we presented ourselves, especially in the preliminary round," said the former European champion. The outstanding Aitana Bonmatí (5th and 36th minute), Alba Redondo (17th), Laia Codina (45th) and Jennifer Hermoso (70th) scored the goals for the superior co-favourite. After an own goal by Laia Codina (11th), the Swiss women had briefly regained hope in the early stages.

"The opponent was a class better today. The Spaniards had an extremely good day and showed us the limits," said Grings. "We made it 0-1 relatively quickly, but we stayed calm and then happily made it 1-1. Then we lost each other completely," said Grings. Goalkeeper Gaëlle Thalmann, who ended her national team career after 109 international matches, cried after the final whistle. "I'm sorry we couldn't put in a better performance. I would have loved to have finished differently," she said.

Hinata Miyazawa again put in a strong performance in the Japanese jersey, deciding the game with her fifth goal of the tournament in the closing stages. "We knew Norway would play to their strengths but all our players worked really hard," said Japan coach Futoshi Ikeda. His team took the lead early on through an own goal by Norway's Ingrid Syrstad Engen (15th minute), but shortly afterwards had to accept the equalizer from Guro Reit (20th). Then Risa Shimizu (50th) and Miyazawa (81st) scored.