Megan Rapinoe slammed by USA fans for LAUGHING after missing penalty
6th August 2023

Megan Rapinoe slammed by USA fans for LAUGHING after missing a crucial penalty in the World Cup shootout against Sweden… before crying on the field as her team are knocked out

Angry USA soccer fans rounded on Megan Rapinoe for laughing after she missed a crucial penalty in the World Cup penalty shoot-out against Sweden, which USWNT eventually lost to be knocked out of the tournament.

It meant that Rapinoe, 38, has played her last World Cup game for the USA. 

She was crying on the field with her devastated teammates in Melbourne after Sweden won but it was her immediate reaction to her own penalty miss that left many fans with little sympathy.

She took USA’s fourth penalty in the shootout to give her team a 4-2 lead in the shootout and blazed her shot high over the crossbar. But as she jogged back to the halfway line, she was – much to the confusion of fans watching back home – smirking and laughing to herself.

‘I don’t see what’s funny about this?’ one fan wrote on Twitter in response. ‘The laughing shows how much this team took this as a joke. So much for being a role model for the rest of the team.’

Megan Rapinoe laughed to herself after she missed a crucial penalty for the USA vs. Sweden

She was still laughing as she rejoined her teammates at the halfway line during the shootout

Moments later, Rapinoe was in tears as her USA career ended with an underwhelming defeat

Another said: ‘I’m generally a Megan Rapinoe fan, but laughing after a missed penalty is not a good look.’

A different USWNT fan said: ‘Megan Rapinoe laughing after she missed a game winning pk… never happier to see a player retire. Never want to see her on my tv again. What a way to end your career.’

Another USA fan tweeted: ‘Megan Rapinoe laughing after missing her PK will be in my nightmares. What a joke.’

Rapinoe herself spoke to FOX briefly after the game: ‘I thought we played really well, I am so happy for us that we went out playing the way that we did. 

‘This is dark comedy, I missed a penalty. This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game. 

‘I feel really grateful and joyful and I know this is the end and that is sad. This is the only time I have bene in one of these (losing on penalties at a World Cup) – it has been an honor.’

The US team had divided some of its fanbase during the tournament in Australia and New Zealand with several of the starting line-up repeatedly refusing to sing the national anthem before their games. 

FOX Soccer analyst Alexi Lalas alluded to it in his post-game reaction: ‘I hope this team can unite Americans moving forward.’

Rapinoe, a two-time World Cup winner, played every game as a substitute. She had entered this one in extra-time but had struggled to make much of an impact during her time on the field.

‘I am devastated, it feels like a bad dream,’ Alex Morgan said to FOX afterwards. ‘It doesn’t feel great.’ 

USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski added that he was proud of his team, despite crashing out at the last-16 stage of the competition.

Rapinoe looked devastated as the Sweden victory started to sink in for her and her team

The 38-year-old – a two-time World Cup winner – was consoled by a crowd member 

‘I’m so proud of the team, so proud of the girls and the women on the field and everybody outside,’ he said. ‘I know that we were criticized for the way we played and 

‘I know we were criticized for different moments throughout the group stage. I think we came out today and showed what were all about. 

‘We showed grit, resilience, fight and bravery. We showed everything that we could to win the game and unfortunately soccer can be cruel sometimes.’

The US team headed into the tournament looking to become the first team in the men’s or women’s game to win three straight World Cups.

But the team didn’t ever hit the standard that has been expected of an all-conquering side. A 3-0 win over Vietnam to start the competition didn’t impress too much, despite the scoreline, the they rounded out the group with two ties – 1-1 against Holland and 0-0 with Portugal.

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