Megan Rapinoe reveals why she laughed after missed penalty kick


After Megan Rapinoe missed a crucial penalty during the USWNT’s loss to Sweden in the Women’s World Cup on Sunday, she explained why she appeared to be laughing.

“I mean this is like a sick joke. For me personally, this is dark comedy, that I missed a penalty,” Rapinoe told FOX Sports.

The Round of 16 matchup between Sweden and the U.S. remained scoreless for 120 minutes before the match went on to a penalty shootout. Rapinoe stepped up to the penalty spot with the U.S. in control, up 3-2 in the shootout.

But her right-footed shot sailed over the crossbar. She smiled in disbelief as she ran back to her teammates, who greeted her at midfield.

Rapinoe appeared to be smiling after missing a penalty kick during the USWNT's loss to Sweden on Sunday. / Credit: Robin Alam/USSF

Rapinoe appeared to be smiling after missing a penalty kick during the USWNT’s loss to Sweden on Sunday. / Credit: Robin Alam/USSF

Sweden pulled ahead and won the shootout, ending the U.S. tournament run and Rapinoe’s illustrious 17-year career with the USWNT. The legendary forward had announced she was planning to retire from international soccer following this year’s Women’s World Cup.

Rapinoe, one of the most decorated soccer stars in U.S. history, explained her reaction in a post-game interview.

“That’s why I had that smile on my face. I’m like, ‘You’ve got to be f—ing kidding me.’ I’m going to miss a penalty? I mean, honestly, I can’t remember the last time I missed.”

The miss was uncharacteristic for Rapinoe, who hadn’t missed a penalty kick in almost five years.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, she retires as an Olympic Gold medalist and two-time World Cup champion. In 2019, Rapinoe won best FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, France Football Ballon d’Or and the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year.

The loss ended the USWNT’s hopes of winning the Women’s World Cup for the third time in a row — a feat that has never been done in either the men’s or women’s competition.

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