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Tokyo Olympics: Sweden crushes USWNT to end 44-game undefeated run as Summer Games begin

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The United States women’s national team lost 3-0 to Sweden in the opening match of the group stage. It was a dominant performance by Sweden who outplayed the USWNT across the field. As Megan Rapinoe said, “We’re bopped.” Stina Blackstenius scored twice and Lina Hurtig added a third for Sweden. The USWNT offered little response, with Christen Press’s 71st minute being their best chance. The blowout was the team’s first 3-0 loss since their loss to France in the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.

Sweden started their dominant play early in the first half, applying pressure, disrupting the USWNT, eliminating passing lanes and controlling possession, and that was only in the first twenty minutes of the game. They achieved their breakthrough in the 24th minute of the game when Eva Jakobsson delivered a cross into the penalty area that knocked Blackstenius off on a close header from a near post-run.

The USWNT managed to come out of the first half with just one goal, despite being knocked out 11 against three and conceding seven corners. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski made adjustments in the second half, bringing in Carli Lloyd and Julie Ertz for Alex Morgan and Sam Mewis. Ertz’s impact was immediate (be sure to check out all USWNT player ratings) as the midfielder immediately started playing in midfield, winning back the ball and closing passing lanes in her first outing since sustaining an MCL sprain in May.

When the team finally seemed to make a small adjustment and make a few passes while disrupting the Swedish midfield, the momentum was short lived as Blackstenius scored the lead goal in the 54th minute.

The USWNT missed a golden opportunity to get back into the game when Christen Press hit the post and minutes later Sweden scored their third to lock up the game.

Throughout the game, the USWNT struggled to ever really get into the game, bewildered at times, reintroducing old feelings about their 2016 elimination in Rio and raising new questions about the team and their ability to make their way through the rest of the game. the match. group. The loss ends a 44-game undefeated run for the US, and the team will try to bounce back from their loss to New Zealand on July 24.

Scoreboard USWNT 0, Sweden 3

Sweden 25′: ⚽ Stina Blackstenius
Sweden 54′: ⚽ Stina Blackstenius
Sweden ’72: ⚽ Lina Hurtig

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