Sweden did not need to bunker down on defence towards the People this time.
Stina Blackstenius scored a pair of objectives and the Swedes surprised the USA on the Olympics with a 3-0 victory Wednesday within the ladies’s soccer event.
The People, ranked No. 1 on this planet and the favorites to win gold in Tokyo, have been driving a 44-match unbeaten streak heading into the match. However Sweden, ranked No. 5, has been the U.S. crew’s nemesis of types in recent times. The Swedes bounced the People from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Video games within the quarterfinals, the earliest U.S. Olympic exit ever, by making a defensive stand.
This April, Sweden performed the USA to a 1-1 attract Stockholm, which snapped a successful streak courting again to January 2019 when the People misplaced to France within the run-up to the World Cup. It was the U.S. crew’s solely draw this 12 months.
Sweden continues to hang-out U.S.
“Did we count on this outcome tonight? No,” stated U.S. ahead Megan Rapinoe, who didn’t begin however got here on as an alternative within the sixty fourth minute with the rating 2-0. “It is irritating, and it is irritating that it is Sweden. They discovered loads of area on us. I do not even know what number of objectives we have now given up this entire 12 months. I do not keep in mind the final time we gave up a aim. So to surrender three is just not nice.”
Sweden’s offence deserved all of the credit score. Blackstenius’ header into the far nook off a cross from Sofia Jakobsson within the twenty sixth minute gave the crew a first-half lead.
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The USA, which got here out stale, had its finest likelihood of the opening half within the ultimate moments when Rose Lavelle’s shot hit the put up. Coach Vlatko Andonovski made adjustments for the second half, subbing in Carli Lloyd for Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz for Sam Mewis.
However Blackstenius scored once more within the 54th minute, beating goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, because the People continued to wrestle. Lina Hurtig added the ultimate aim within the 72nd.
Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl acknowledged the win over the favourites was encouraging, but it surely’s nonetheless only the start of the event. Forward are group video games towards Australia and New Zealand.
“I do know for a truth that you would be able to go very far in a event even when you lose to the USA or whoever you play within the first recreation,” Lindahl stated. “So ultimately I do not understand how a lot it means, however for positive we confirmed the world and ourselves that we will play properly towards a crew just like the U.S. or any crew.”
The loss was the primary for the USA below Andonovski, who took over when former coach Jill Ellis stepped down following the crew’s World Cup victory in France. Late within the match, Andonovski sat expressionless on the bench.
The Swedes have been with out Magda Eriksson due to harm. The crew stated she has been coaching, however due to the compact schedule of the event she was held out of the opener.
Tokyo is Sweden’s seventh Olympics. After getting eradicated by Sweden on penalties within the quarterfinals 5 years in the past, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo famously referred to as the Swedes cowards for his or her defensive ways.
Sweden went on to win the silver medal, dropping to Germany 2-1 within the ultimate.
The USA has been to all seven Olympics which have included ladies’s soccer, too, successful 4 Olympic gold medals, greater than another nation. The crew is vying to change into the primary to win Olympic gold following a World Cup title.
In 2008, the USA additionally misplaced its first match, 2-0 to Norway, however went on to win the gold medal.
“I feel finally as an athlete you undergo ups and downs, and it is a onerous outcome but it surely’s the character of a troublesome event,” U.S. ahead Christen Press stated. “It wasn’t going to be straightforward. We weren’t going to breeze by way of six video games it doesn’t matter what. So right here we’re.”
It was simply the sixth time that the USA had misplaced by three or extra objectives.
Sweden now leads Group G heading into Saturday’s recreation towards Australia in Saitama, whereas the USA faces New Zealand on the identical stadium. The highest two groups within the group advance to the knockout spherical.
“It’s what it’s,” Rapinoe stated. “We obtained bopped, and we have now two extra video games coming fast and quick. And now we all know precisely what we have to do. We have to win these video games and ultimately get out of the group and go from there.”