‘Stay in the Moment’- Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher Explains How She Saved 3 Penalties to Keep USWNT in the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/01/2021, 2:07 PM EDT


USWNT shot-stopper Alyssa Naeher came up big during their penalty shootout against The Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. A 2-2 draw after the extra time saw the game go to the tie-breaker.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Naeher, who plays for the Chicago Red Stars at the club level, managed to stop 2 penalties that helped the team eventually progress to the semi-finals of the tournament.

“I’ve said from the beginning I want to help my team to win a gold medal. Tonight I’m proud of what I was able to do to get us one step closer,” said Naeher.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

She was not only exceptional during the penalties, but her performance at the regulation time and further was also just as impressive.

I just try to stay in the moment, focus on the ball, take a couple of deep breaths and let my instincts take over, I could hear my teammates cheering me on the whole time too. I could feel their support and energy,” Naeher further added.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States celebrates with the gold medal after defeating Japan by a score of 2-1 to win the Women’s Football gold medal match on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The first penalty is obviously very important as it sets the tone for the shootout. I was very confident in the five takers we have and I really wanted to save one,” she said.

But I was even able to get to two. I felt pretty good when I saw Megan coming up to take the decisive penalty. I told her to end it, and she did,” she concluded.

What’s next for the USWNT after their win in the quarter-finals?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The USWNT is set to take on Canada in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Megan Rapinoe and co. have finally managed to turn around their campaign after a disappointing start to the tournament.

A thrashing loss to Sweden was followed by a superb win against New Zealand before a draw against Australia in the final game of the group stages.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The team will look to build on the momentum and eventually show their true quality in the semis. Whether they can manage to get a win against Canada and make the chances of securing a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 even more possible remains to be seen.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Apratim Banerjee

1181 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT