Puddles and penalty kicks as U.S. women beat Canada in dramatic, rain-soaked semifinal

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The United States splashed past Canada connected Wednesday nighttime successful a crippled that will beryllium remembered arsenic overmuch for nan deluged transportation arsenic nan heroics of goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

She saved 3 punishment kicks and scored 1 of her ain successful nan shootout to nonstop nan stars and stripes into nan CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup final.

The lucifer ended 2-2 aft other clip and was much notable for nan upwind than nan value of play: Heavy rainfall and a intelligibly waterlogged section made conditions difficult for some teams, pinch sprays of h2o accompanying each tackle.

Passes slowed to a trickle arsenic nan shot made its measurement done pools of opinionated h2o astatine nan Snapdragon Stadium successful San Diego.

Many watching successful America and astir nan world commented that successful galore nationalist leagues nan crippled would not beryllium played successful specified conditions. Several group connected societal media joked that it was person to h2o polo than soccer.

U.S. women's nationalist shot squad scope Gold cup last successful rain-soaked punishment winPlayers conflict done nan waterlogged transportation astatine Snapdragon Stadium.Xavier Hernandez / Sipa USA via AP

Stuart Holden, a erstwhile master subordinate successful nan U.S. and England who is now a pundit for Fox Sports, said nan business was “dangerous” for nan players.

Asked whether nan crippled should person been played astatine all, U.S. caput coach Twila Kilgore said successful a news conference: “Probably not. But those decisions aren’t my decisions. If nan referees make those decisions, and nan crippled goes on, it’s our occupation to fig retired really to win.”

And nan U.S. did, eventually.

The U.S. opened nan scoring successful nan 20th infinitesimal by taking advantage of nan bedewed conditions. A Canadian subordinate attempted to walk nan shot backmost to her goalkeeper — but nan shot held up good short and U.S. attacker Jaedyn Shaw pounced and slotted location to make it 1-0.

 Semifinals - 2024 Concacaf W Gold CupFans effort to shield themselves from nan rainfall up of nan crippled connected Wednesday night.Harry How / Getty Images

The conditions continued to hamper some teams, but Canada tied nan crippled pinch a header successful nan 82nd minute. The U.S. took nan lead again successful other time, only for Naeher to concede a precocious punishment that allowed Canada to return it to a shootout.

But Naeher much than made amends to nonstop nan U.S. through.

Kilgore said aft nan crippled that "being capable to set to immoderate benignant of conditions is ever a portion of it and it takes a definite mentality to do that.” She added: "We did that coming and we’re not going to awkward distant from celebrating that because it’s not easy.”

The U.S. will now look successful nan last connected Sunday against Brazil, who hit Mexico 3-0 connected Wednesday.

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is simply a London-based editor and newsman for NBC News Digital.

The Associated Press