Four-time Olympic champions the United States suffered a primary defeat in 45 matches Wednesday as they misplaced 3-0 to Sweden of their opening sport of the ladies’s soccer match in Tokyo.
Stina Blackstenius scored twice and Lina Hurtig added a 3rd purpose to present 2016 silver medallists Sweden a dream begin to their Group G marketing campaign at a Tokyo Stadium devoid of followers as a consequence of Covid-19 restrictions.
The US, who go on to play New Zealand and Australia of their subsequent two group video games, hadn’t misplaced since taking place 3-1 to France in a pleasant in January 2019.
It was simply the second loss over 90 minutes for the US on the Olympics. They have been crushed of their first sport of the 2008 match however nonetheless went on to win gold in Beijing.
Sweden shattered US hopes in a quarter-final penalty shootout in Rio 5 years in the past, a bitter exit that served as a driving pressure behind the Americans’ run to a fourth World Cup title in 2019.
US captain Becky Sauerbrunn known as the loss in Brazil “one of many worst outcomes” the nationwide group has had at a global match.
The US had received 22 of 23 video games since Vlatko Andonovski changed Jill Ellis as coach in October 2019, with a 1-1 draw towards the Swedes in April the one blemish.
Andonovski chosen 17 of the gamers from the World Cup-winning squad for his first main match, however he elected to start out Megan Rapinoe on the bench as Tobin Heath appeared at her fourth Olympics.
Sweden, who reached the World Cup semi-finals two years in the past, threatened early and sometimes in a primary half the place they utterly dominated a surprisingly subdued US.
Alyssa Naeher turned behind a pointy effort from Fridolina Rolfo, and Blackstenius ought to have achieved significantly better when capturing proper on the US goalkeeper following an ill-advised go by Crystal Dunn.
Naeher made additional saves to disclaim Kosovare Asllani and Rolfo, however Sweden grabbed a deserved lead on 25 minutes when Blackstenius beat Abby Dahlkemper to Sofia Jakobsson’s cross to steer in a glancing header.
Jonna Andersson examined Naeher once more with a slicing try from distance, whereas Blackstenius hesitated and misplaced a golden alternative to double the lead.
Rose Lavelle, one in every of stars of the 2019 World Cup, headed towards the submit on the finish of the primary half — an important miss as Sweden made it 2-0 quickly after the break.
Carli Lloyd and Julie Ertz got here on at half-time for Alex Morgan and Sam Mewis, however the US fell additional behind when Blackstenius stabbed into the roof of the web after Amanda Ilestedt’s header bounced again off the upright.
Rapinoe changed Heath for the ultimate half-hour and almost arrange Christen Press to drag a purpose again, the previous Manchester United participant hitting the submit with the purpose at her mercy.
Sweden ensured there could be no method again for the US as substitute Hurtig rose to nod in a Hanna Glas supply with 18 minutes left to sentence the Americans to a humbling defeat.