If you felt the ground shake around 1:30 EST this afternoon, it’s because the queer internet went berserk as Megan Rapinoe scored a second goal on a second penalty kick to give the USWNT a 2-1 lead in a surprisingly tough game against Spain in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The goal made Rapinoe only the second player in history to score two penalties in a World Cup match, and they were the only goals the team scored all day. (It was a busy day for her all around; she got a yellow card for, accidentally, I think, slapping another player in the face.)
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 24, 2019
The USWNT is under serious pressure at the World Cup this year after their shocking exit at the hands of Sweden in the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the way they’ve taken their fight for equal pay very public, suing and then entering into mediation with the U.S. Soccer Federation. You’d think Megan Rapinoe would be feeling that pressure more than anyone, with the size of the target on her back — but she’s shown up to play with pink and purple hair, continued to refuse to sing the National Anthem (she says she doesn’t think she’ll ever sing it again), and even penned an essay in The Players’ Tribune talking about “You can’t get rid of your girl that easily.”
Rapinoe’s first penalty kick — the result of a foul caused by Tobin Heath’s ankle-breaking footwork — put the U.S. on the board in the seventh minute, but Spain answered almost immediately after a dramatically misplayed ball by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Rapinoe’s second penalty kick, and the only other goal of the game, didn’t come until 70 minutes later.
It appeared Alex Morgan would take the second penalty kick, but during VAR review, Morgan told Rapinoe she wanted her to take it. After the game, Rapinoe said, “That’s World Cup level grit. There’s no way to replicate it. You there’s no way to express it or teach it. Out on the field, in the second half, a few of looked around and said, ‘We’ve got to take it up a level.’ And we did.”
The USWNT now advances to the quarterfinals to play France, in Paris, on Friday.
— FIFA Women's World Cup (@FIFAWWC) June 24, 2019
— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) June 24, 2019
MEGAN RAPINOE NOW AND FOREVER MY QUEEN
— Katie Nolan (@katienolan) June 24, 2019
HAPPY #PRIDE FROM MEGAN RAPINOE!
— Katie Barnes (@katie_barnes3) June 24, 2019