Record Olympic women’s football champions the U.S got the better of the Netherlands on penalty kicks on Friday to set up a semi-final clash with neighbours Canada.
The 4-2 shootout success followed a 2-2 draw after extra-time at the Tokyo Games.
The world champions, who have taken Olympic gold four times, took the lead for 2-1 on 31 minutes through Lynn Williams.
But the European champions hit back, thanks to Vivianne Miedema’s second goal of the game.
The U.S had two goals disallowed for offside in the second half of extra-time.
But they eventually prevailed as goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher saved penalty kicks from Miedema and Aniek Nouwen before star player Megan Rapinoe clinched the semi-final spot.
It was a revenge of sorts for the U.S who had gone out on penalty kicks against Sweden at the same stage at Rio 2016.
Canada knocked out Brazil 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw in their quarter-final, leaving the heralded Brazilians still without an Olympic title in the seven editions of women’s football.
Australia fought back to defeat Britain 4-3 in extra-time with Sam Kerr first taking the game to a further 30 minutes late in normal time and then netting one of Australia’s two extra-time goals.
Ellen White scored a hat-trick but it was all in vain for Britain, who also missed a penalty kick in extra-time.
Australia next meet Sweden in Monday’s semi-finals after the Scandinavians beat hosts Japan 3-1.
Rio 2016 champions Germany did not qualify for Tokyo.(dpa/NAN)