The United States women’s national team began the Tokyo Olympics with a thud on Wednesday, courtesy of a 3-0 loss to Sweden in a Group G match.
Stina Blackstenius scored a pair of goals to help fifth-ranked Sweden snap the top-ranked Americans’ 44-match unbeaten streak. The United States boasted a 40-0-4 record in the previous 44 matches.
The Swedes have been a thorn in the side of the Americans, including eliminating the United States on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. That marked the only time the Americans weren’t gold or silver medalists since the first tournament in 1996.
Wednesday’s loss was the first for the United States under the direction of head coach Vlatko Andonovski (22-1-1). The draw came against Sweden on April 10 in Stockholm.
Blackstenius opened the scoring in the 25th minute after heading home a cross from Sofia Jakobsson before doubling the advantage in the 54th by converting from close range.
Christen Press’ bid to halve the deficit caromed off the post in the 71st minute. Lina Hurtig capped the scoring one minute later after converting from just inside the six-yard box for Sweden (1-0-0, 3 points), which faces Australia (1-0-0, 3 points) on Saturday in Saitama.
The Americans (0-1-0, 0 points) look to rebound on Saturday against New Zealand (0-1-0, 0 points), which dropped a 1-0 decision to Australia on Wednesday.
–Field Level Media