Sweden stuns U.S. in Olympic soccer opener

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Sweden did not should bunker down on defence in opposition to the Individuals this time.

Stina Blackstenius scored a pair of targets and the Swedes shocked the US on the Olympics with a 3-0 victory Wednesday within the girls’s soccer match.

The Individuals, ranked No. 1 on the planet and the favorites to win gold in Tokyo, have been using a 44-match unbeaten streak heading into the match. However Sweden, ranked No. 5, has been the U.S. workforce’s nemesis of types lately. The Swedes bounced the Individuals 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 US to a 1-1 attract Stockholm, which snapped a successful streak relationship again to January 2019 when the Individuals misplaced to France within the run-up to the World Cup. It was the U.S. workforce’s solely draw this yr.

Sweden continues to hang-out U.S.

“Did we anticipate 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 numerous house on us. I do not even know what number of targets we’ve got given up this complete yr. I do not keep in mind the final time we gave up a purpose. 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 workforce a first-half lead.

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The USA, which got here out stale, had its greatest probability of the opening half within the closing moments when Rose Lavelle’s shot hit the submit. Coach Vlatko Andonovski made modifications 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 Individuals continued to battle. Lina Hurtig added the ultimate purpose within the 72nd.

Stina Blackstenius of the Sweden celebrates a purpose. Sweden now leads Group G heading into Saturday’s recreation in opposition to Australia in Saitama, whereas the US faces New Zealand. (Edgar Su/Reuters)

Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl acknowledged the win over the favourites was encouraging, nevertheless it’s nonetheless just the start of the match. Forward are group video games in opposition to Australia and New Zealand.

“I do know for a reality which you could go very far in a match even should you lose to the USA or whoever you play within the first recreation,” Lindahl stated. “So in the long run I do not understand how a lot it means, however for positive we confirmed the world and ourselves that we will play nicely in opposition to a workforce just like the U.S. or any workforce.”

The loss was the primary for the US below Andonovski, who took over when former coach Jill Ellis stepped down following the workforce’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 workforce stated she has been coaching, however due to the compact schedule of the match 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 techniques.

Sweden went on to win the silver medal, shedding to Germany 2-1 within the closing.

‘It’s what it’s,’ Megan Rapinoe on the American’s shock loss. ‘We obtained bopped.’ (Dan Mullan/Getty Pictures)

The USA has been to all seven Olympics which have included girls’s soccer, too, successful 4 Olympic gold medals, greater than some other nation. The workforce is vying to grow to be the primary to win Olympic gold following a World Cup title.

In 2008, the US additionally misplaced its first match, 2-0 to Norway, however went on to win the gold medal.

“I feel in the end as an athlete you undergo ups and downs, and it is a laborious outcome nevertheless it’s the character of a troublesome match,” U.S. ahead Christen Press stated. “It wasn’t going to be straightforward. We weren’t going to breeze by means of six video games it doesn’t matter what. So right here we’re.”

It was simply the sixth time that the US had misplaced by three or extra targets.

Sweden now leads Group G heading into Saturday’s recreation in opposition to Australia in Saitama, whereas the US faces New Zealand on the similar 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’ve got 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.”

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Written by bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.


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