Sweden Ends US Ladies’s 44-Match Streak as Tokyo Olympics Kick off Soccer Competitors

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CHOFU, JAPAN – JULY 21: Stina Blackstenius #11 of Group Sweden scores their facet’s first objective previous Alyssa Naeher #1 of Group United States throughout the Ladies’s First Spherical Group G match between Sweden and United States throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games at Tokyo Stadium on July 21, 2021 in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. (Picture : Dan Mullan/Getty Photos)

The US women‘s nationwide staff’s Tokyo Olympics marketing campaign acquired off to a horrible begin because the Individuals suffered a stunning 3-0 loss to Sweden of their opening group stage match. It was a disappointing defeat for the US girls’s staff, who had its 44-match unbeaten streak snapped.

The match was billed as one of many ties of the event because it pitted the reigning World Cup champions US girls’s staff towards Olympic silver medalists Sweden, the staff that eradicated the US in Rio 2016. It was one-way visitors, nonetheless, because the Swedes dominated the Individuals proper from the get-go.

Sweden dominates the US girls’s staff within the first half

Sweden, at present ranked fifth on this planet, stormed out of the gates, instantly creating three shot makes an attempt within the sport’s opening eight minutes. Their efforts have been lastly rewarded within the twenty fifth minute when Stina Blackstenius gave Sweden the lead with a header from Sofia Jakobsson’s cross.

US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher did her finest to maintain the staff within the match, making 5 saves within the opening half to cease Sweden from doubling its benefit. The Individuals virtually entered the half-time break stage, however midfielder Rose Lavelle’s header within the forty fifth minute off Christen Press’ nook kick agonizingly hit the put up.

The Swedes deserved greater than the 1-0 benefit they loved on the interval as they dominated the Individuals within the sport’s opening 45 minutes. Sweden trumped the US 11-3 in shot makes an attempt, with the Individuals additionally conceding seven nook kicks.

After his facet’s poor displaying within the first half, US head coach Vlatko Andonovski determined to make some adjustments, introducing Julie Ertz and Carli Lloyd rather than the ineffective Alex Morgan and Sam Mewis.

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Sweden scores two extra objectives within the second half

That transfer didn’t provoke the staff because it was Sweden who scored the following objective. The Swedes doubled their lead within the 54th minute, with Blackstenius the goal-scorer as soon as once more, bagging her second from a rebound off a nook kick.

With their backs towards the wall, the four-time Olympic gold medalists made a 3rd change, inserting Megan Rapinoe rather than Tobin Heath. That substitution virtually paid dividends quickly after, however Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl thwarted Rapinoe’s try.

The Individuals continued to pile on the stress and hit the woodwork once more within the 71st minute, with Press putting the put up along with her effort. That miss proved to be expensive as Sweden scored with their ensuing counter-attack, with Lina Hurtig nabbing Sweden’s third and remaining objective. She blasted her header into the roof of the web for the ultimate 3-0 scoreline.

The defeat heaped extra stress on Andonovski, who misplaced his first match since taking up from the good Jill Ellis in 2019. Sweden has been a troublesome nut to crack for the US girls’s staff this yr. The 2 sides battled one another to a 1-1 draw again in April, the one blemish to the Individuals’ immaculate 2021 report of 11 wins in 12 matches earlier than the Olympics.

The sudden loss brings again painful reminiscences of the US defeat in Rio 2016, which was the Individuals’ earliest exit within the Olympics. They are going to look to get their Group G marketing campaign again on observe towards New Zealand this coming Saturday.

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