Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made clutch saves in extra time and a penalty shootout to propel the United States women’s soccer team to the 2020 Summer Games semifinals on Friday in Yokohama, Japan.
On Monday, the Americans will face Canada in the semifinals at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima, Japan. The game will air on USA at 4 a.m. EDT on Monday.
Canada beat Brazil in another women’s soccer quarterfinal, which also went to penalties, Friday at Miyagi Stadium in Rifu, Japan. Canada or the U.S. women will play Australia or Sweden in the 2020 Summer Games gold medal game Aug. 6 at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.
Naeher saved several chances for the Netherlands late in regulation time, resulting in a 2-2 tie. In extra time, she maintained her blockade and saved two of the Netherlands’ four penalty shot attempts.
Forward Megan Rapinoe’s final penalty kick sealed the victory for the Americans.
Christen Press, Rose Lavelle, and Alex Morgan scored on the Americans’ first three penalty kick attempts. The game featured four offside calls that resulted in American goals being disallowed.
Vivianne Miedema of the Netherlands scored twice in the defeat. Lynn Williams of the United States had a goal and an assist in the first half of the victory.
The Netherlands outshot the Americans 21-16 and put seven shots on target. Naeher totaled five saves.
Miedema put the Netherlands ahead in the 18th minute of regulation. American defenders blocked several shots from the Netherlands during the sequence.
One of the deflections inside the box was collected by Miedema. She tapped the ball away from defenders, turned, and ripped a right-footed shot past Naeher just inside the left post.
About 10 minutes later, Williams assisted the women from the United States in responding. To start the sequence, she sent a cross in from the right side.
The ball fell to left wing Sam Mewis, who raced into the box and flicked a diving header into the right side of the nett, beating Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenedaal.
Less than three minutes later, Williams struck again. At the start of that play, the Americans and the Netherlands both headed a corner kick around the box a few times. The ball then fell into the path of Williams in the centre of the box.
Williams let the ball bounce before she ripped a half-volley into the far-post netting. The Americans led 2-1 at halftime.
Miedema responded with an equalizer in the 54th minute. The star striker held off defenders as she dribbled at the top of the box. She then curled the ball back with her heel and ripped a 20-yard shot inside the left post to beat Naeher.
Naeher and van Veenedaal kept the game tied for the remainder of regulation.
Naeher saved Lieke Martens’ penalty attempt in the 81st minute to deny the Netherlands of a late go-ahead score. She also took the ball off the foot of Netherlands winger Lineth Beerensteyn with an aggressive stop in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Morgan and Press each found the net in extra time, but both goals were disallowed due to offside calls.
Naeher proceeded to save the first Netherlands attempt of the penalty session, taken by Miedema. Lavelle beat van Veenedaal on the next attempt to put the Americans ahead.
The Netherlands’ Dominique Janssen beat Naeher on the third penalty attempt. Morgan answered with a shot into the bottom right corner. The Netherlands’ Stefanie van der Gragt leveled the shootout with another shot into the net on the next attempt.
Press followed with the third successful penalty for the Americans. Naeher then saved Aniek Nouwen’s attempt, to send Rapinoe to the penalty spot for the game-winner.
Rapinoe ran up to the line and ripped her shot into the upper right corner to beat van Veenedaal and send the U.S. women to the semifinals.