Megan Rapinoe has broken her silence after missing a spot-kick during the USA's dramatic penalty shootout defeat to Sweden in the World Cup Round of 16.
Rapinoe, 38, was substituted onto the field in the 99th minute of extra time and stepped up to take her country's fourth penalty after Sweden's Nathalie Bjorn missed the target.
With the world watching, Rapinoe was unable to convert, shanking her effort high and wide. Three missed penalties later, Lina Hurtig had the chance to send Sweden through to the quarter-finals.
The Arsenal star saw her initial penalty saved only for it to bounce back over goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. There was a nervous wait while goal line technology checked if it was a goal, before referee Stephanie Frappart confirmed it was, sending the Swedish fans into chaos.
Rapinoe has now broken her silence on the penalty, labelling it a "sick joke".
"I’m really happy for us that we went out like that, playing the way we did [against Sweden], having a ton of joy on the ball,” she told Fox Sports after the game.
“This is like a sick joke for me personally, this is a dark comedy that I missed a penalty. This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game.”
The defeat to Sweden meant the USA failed to reach the final three of the World Cup for the first time in their history. Rapinoe admitted her last appearance at the tournament brought mixed emotions.
“I still feel really grateful and joyful and I know it’s the end and that’s sad,” she said. “But to know that this is the only time I’ve been in [a penalty shootout] this early [at a World Cup] says a lot about the success I’ve been able to have, just how much I’ve loved being able to play for this team and this country. Yeah, this has been an honour.”