Missed penalty kick costs Germany in 2-0 loss to US

MONTREAL (AP) – Celia Sasic picked a bad time for Germany’s first missed penalty kick in the Women’s World Cup.

The Germany forward shot it wide to her left – even as U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo dove the other way – on a penalty kick after a foul in the box in the 59th minute. The Americans went on to win 2-0 and advance to the final.

The top-ranked Germans had been 17 for 17 on World Cup penalty kicks, including all five in a tiebreaker to beat France in the quarterfinal. Sasic converted twice in that match – once in regulation and again for the game-winner.

“Of course, today, she missed,” Germany coach Silvia Neid said. “There’s always ups and downs in sport.”

Sasic is the leading scorer in the tournament, with six goals in Germany’s first five games. That’s why Neid picked Sasic to take the shot after Julie Johnston pulled Alexandra Popp down from behind in the penalty box.

But after missing, she buried her face in her hands while the U.S.-favoring crowd burst into cheers.

“We will support her,” Neid said.

The Americans will play in the final in Vancouver against the winner of Wednesday night’s semifinal between England and defending champion Japan. Germany will play the loser in the consolation game in Edmonton on Saturday.

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