Women's World Cup, Spain 1 United States 2: Rapinoe spot-kicks set up France quarter-final

The United States will face Women's World Cup hosts France in the quarter-finals after Megan Rapinoe's penalties secured a win over Spain.

USA Soccer

USA will take on France in the quarterfinal of the FIFA Women's World Cup on Friday.   -  Getty Images

Megan Rapinoe scored two penalties as the United States edged past Spain 2-1 to set up a Women's World Cup quarter-final against hosts France.

Having put the defending champions ahead early on, Rapinoe kept her cool after a length VAR delay to restore USA's lead from the spot with 14 minutes remaining.

USA had not conceded a goal heading into Monday's last-16 tie in Reims, but Spain star Jennifer Hermoso had found a way through to restore parity shortly after Rapinoe's opener.

READ : USA vs Spain, as it happened

Virginia Torrecilla's slight touch on Rose Lavelle handed USA a reprieve, though, and captain Rapinoe made no mistake to send Jill Ellis' side into a last-eight clash with France on Friday.

USA was ahead after seven minutes – Rapinoe tucking her first spot-kick into the bottom-left corner following Maria Leon's clumsy foul on Tobin Heath.

But USA conceded for the first time in the tournament two minutes later when Hermoso curled home following Becky Sauerbrunn's error.

Rapinoe looked set to restore USA's lead soon after, but Irene Paredes made a superb block before an injury to Vicky Losada dealt Spain a blow.

READ : Women's World Cup Round of 16: Clash of strong defences as Italy faces China

Despite a sluggish second-half display, USA were handed a chance to retake the advantage in the 71st minute, with Torrecilla adjudged to have brought down Lavelle.

A check with VAR confirmed the referee's decision and Rapinoe – who had taken the ball off Alex Morgan during the five-minute stoppage – arrowed in a low finish.

Rapinoe went close to completing her hat-trick with an audacious effort moments later, but the miss mattered little as USA held firm to book their last-eight berth.

Key Opta Facts:

USA has reached the quarter-final stage in every edition of the Women's World Cup between 1991 and 2019; the second nation to achieve this feat alongside Germany (8). 

Spain has won just one of its seven matches at the Women's World Cup (W1 D3 L3), with this its first defeat and match in the knockout stage.

Only Germany (13) has scored more penalties (excluding shoot-outs) than USA (11).

Megan Rapinoe is just the second player to score two penalties in a single Women’s World Cup match after Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso vs South Africa (also at the 2019 edition).

 

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