She said, "You can either lose one or win one." It will go either way."
This one was a winner.
Rapinoe scored the decisive penalty in a shootout, and the United States advanced 4-2 to the semifinals at the Women's Olympic Soccer Tournament. This was after a 2-2 draw against the Netherlands.
Alyssa Naeher, the U.S. goalkeeper, stopped Vivianne Miedema from making her first attempt in the shootout. She then saved Aniek Nouwen's shot before Rapinoe gave her the penalty.
Rapinoe converted and turned to her team, folded her arms, and smiled triumphantly.
She laughed about the pressure later.
"I try to keep calm. She smiled and said, "The worst thing that could happen is that you lose everything."
Miedema scored two goals in regulation for the Netherlands. This gave her 10 goals for tournament -- an Olympic record. The Dutch, however, are heading home.
In the 18th minute, Miedema gave the Netherlands the lead. However, the Americans levelled the match when Sam Mewis scored a goal after Lynn Williams' feed in the 28th. In the 31st, Williams gave the Americans the lead.
Miedema was playing in her 100th match for the Netherlands. She made it 2-2 in 54th. In the 81st minutes, Naeher stopped Lieke Martens' penalty and the game went into overtime.
"I felt amazing. Miedema stated that he should have taken the penalty. I should have stuck to my plan and moved on. It's just part of life. It's football, and I need to move on."
Naeher was just as cool after the game as she was during, playing down her performance and praising her teammates.
Naeher stated, "This team kept pushing for 90, 120, and just kept believing that there was a way to get it done." "Very proud that the four players stepped up and scored their four penalties to make it 4 for 4. It is huge."
On Monday, the United States will face familiar foe Canada at Kashima. After a draw in Rifu that saw Brazil score an even-score, the Canadians reached the semifinals on penalties and advanced 4-3.
For the fifth time, the Americans participated in a shootout at a major tournament. The last time this happened was at Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016, when the U.S. lost to Sweden in the quarterfinals.
Rapinoe stated, "It's such cruel way to end the game." It's a pain to miss one, and it hurts to be on losing side of that. That was not what we did today.
Friday's match at the International Stadium brought together two of the teams that met in the World Cup final in France two years ago. The U.S. women won the game 2-0. Afterward, the crowd cheered "Equal Pay!" to support the legal battle for equity with the men’s national team.
Vlatko andonovski, the United States coach, tinkered with Friday's match lineup, with Rapinoe (Alex Morgan), Christen Press, Rose Lavelle, and Christen Press on the bench at start.
This was the latest obstacle in a tournament that has been unusually difficult for the United States. The Americans, normally strong and determined, lost to Sweden 3-0 in the opener before defeating New Zealand 6-1. After a draw with Australia, they advanced to the knockout round.
Since 2017, the United States has not been closed to outsiders.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, went all out in the group stage, scoring 21 Olympic-record goals, breaking the previous record of 16 set in 2012 by the United States.
Miedema is a 25-year-old player for Arsenal in England and is the leading scorer for the Netherlands, with 84 goals in 100 games. She is also the top scorer in England's Women's Super League.
The United States beat the Netherlands in Breda, November. They won 2-0. Before losing to Sweden at Tokyo Games, the Americans had won 44 consecutive matches.
Canada's goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, who was in Rifu to stop Rafaelle's attempt, was rushed by her team-mates. Canada has won bronze medals in the Olympics.
Australia reached the semifinals for the first time after beating Britain 4-3 in Kashima. Sweden will play the Matildas, who defeated host Japan 3-1 at Saitama.