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USWNT advances to Olympic semifinals on penalty kicks

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It took extra time and a shootout, but the United States women’s national team advanced to the semifinals of the Olympics with a win over the Netherlands on Friday.

Megan Rapinoe delivered the game-winning penalty kick into the top right corner, fooling Dutch goalkeeper Sari Van Veenendaal who dove the other way. Alyssa Naeher made two key saves during the shootout to seal the win for the USWNT, 4-2 on penalty kicks.

Naeher stood tall against Vivianne Miedema on the Netherlands’ first attempt of the shootout. The save gave the USWNT life after Miedema had no trouble finding the back of the net during regulation, scoring both of the Netherlands’ goals and adding to her record-breaking total during these Olympics.

Miedema finished the tournament with 10 goals, breaking Christine Sinclair’s single Olympics goal-scoring record of six set in 2012.

Miedema got the scoring started early in the game, turning on a misplayed ball by the USWNT and drilling it past Naeher into the bottom left corner.

Sam Mewis quickly responded, however, tying the game up on a diving header off of a cross from Lynn Williams

Three minutes later, Williams continued to capitalize on her first-ever Olympic start for the USWNT, sending one home to put the USWNT up 2-1.

Miedema responded in the 53rd minute to tie the game. In the 80th minute, Naeher came up with a big save on a penalty kick by Lieke Martens after the Dutch midfielder was taken down in the box.

The score would hold through the end of regulation and two 15-minute periods of extra time — despite multiple USWNT goals called back due to offsides — to send the game into penalty kicks.

All four USWNT players scored in the shootout, capitalizing on Naeher’s saves and sending the U.S. through, five years after the Americans lost to Sweden on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics.

The USWNT will face Canada in the semifinals on Monday at 4 a.m. ET.