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U.S. Women's Soccer Team Beats The Netherlands And Advances To Olympic Semifinals

Updated July 30, 2021 at 9:46 AM ET

TOKYO — The U.S. won a grueling match against The Netherlands at the Olympics that went to extra time and penalty kicks. This means they'll head to the semifinal.

The score remained even after 30 minutes of extra time in the tough game. In a thrilling round of penalty kicks, four U.S. players all scored, ending with team leader Megan Rapinoe. U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher blocked two of the four attempts from the Dutch.

The U.S. is trying to become the first reigning Women's World Cup champion to ever take Olympic gold.

The Netherlands, ranked No. 4 in the world, is the European champion and was runner-up to the U.S. in the 2019 World Cup.

Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema made the first goal 18 minutes into the first half, but the U.S. team quickly answered.

Ten minutes later, U.S. midfielder Samantha Mewis scored with a diving header, teed up by teammate Lynn Williams. Williams scored her own goal three minutes later.

In the second half, Miedema struck again with a goal 54 minutes in, to tie the score. A scoreless 30 minutes of extra time led to the round of penalty kicks.

The team's start so far at the Games has been uneven. The team opened play with a stunning 3-0 loss to its longtime rival Sweden in group play. The Americans then easily defeated New Zealand 6-1 and played to a scoreless draw against Australia.

The semifinals are slated for Monday, when the U.S. women will face Canada at 4 a.m. ET. The second match of the day will pit Sweden against Australia.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.