Megan Rapinoe’s previous World Cup goals didn’t necessarily book her place in history like her latest strikes did.
The USA women’s soccer forward scored both goals in her team’s 2-1 win over Spain on Monday in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16. The fact both Rapinoe’s goals came via penalty kicks puts her select company, which Spain’s Jenni Hermoso founded June 8 during her team’s win over South Africa.
Rapinoe revealed after the game she’s not USA’s preferred shooter on penalty kicks. Alex Morgan was set to take USA’s second penalty kick of the game, but the referee’s decision to consult VAR delayed the game for a few minutes and gave Rapinoe the chance to grasp the responsibility of scoring the go-ahead goal.
“We kind of have a lineup of how it goes that the coaches set out,” Rapinoe said. “Obviously I took the first one. I actually made the call on the second one (for Morgan to take it) just to say ‘I took the first one and maybe switch up a little bit.’ Then we had a long (delay) and we got switched back. All good for both of us, we’re both willing to step up and take them.”
Rapinoe’s goals against Spain were near carbon-copies, as she accurately tucked each shot low to the goalkeeper’s right. When it the chance to make history comes, sometimes it’s best to stick with what works.