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USWNT loses in Olympic debut 3-0 to Sweden

USWNT loses in Olympic debut 3-0 to Sweden
Orlando, Florida, USA, February 24, 2021, USA forward Alex Morgan #13 receives a pass during the SheBelieves Cup at Exploria Stadium (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

TOKYO – The United States Women’s National Soccer Team lost to Sweden this morning in the Tokyo Olympics. The loss ended a 44 match unbeaten streak for Team USA, with 40 of their last 44 contest being wins. Its last loss was in January 2019, at a friendly in France.

The US women came to the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo as a clear favorite, having one 5 of the last 6 gold medals at the event.

Even though the US had played many tune up matches this year, the come on to the field confused and unorganized, as the frustrated Americans struggled to find their way.

Sweden took advantage of the confusion by swarming on balls, pressing, and controlling the midfield, causing the usually unflappable US Women to get rattled and give the ball away many times.

“I didn’t feel like we were pressing together,” Said Alex Morgan “and then when we were on the attack and we’d lose the ball, we didn’t have the numbers around the ball to win it back.”

Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius starred in match, scoring the opener in the 25th minute and completing a brace in the 54th minute. Lina Hurtig leapt for a header to clinch the third goal of the game, delivering the first multiple goal loss for the United States in a major tournament since 2008.

This is the first loss for coach Vlatko Andonovski, who posted a 22-0-1 record in his first two years with the team.

Morgan started the match, but her outing was limited to a fruitless 45 minutes. The forward saw a single scoring opportunity — a muffed header off a cross from Christen Press — before she was pulled at the half.

Andonovski made adjustments to bring in Julie Ertz and Lloyd. But those replacements did little to breathe life into the United States.

The United States finished the match with only five shots on target, forcing keeper Alyssa Naeher to make six saves to keep the team remotely within reach of the Swedes.

The US faces an uphill battle in group play as they face New Zealand on July 24, then round out the group stage against Australia on July 27.

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