For the U.S. Women's National Team, the Tokyo Olympics began the aforesaid mode the Rio Olympics ended: with a stunning nonaccomplishment to Sweden.
What was expected to beryllium a revenge crippled for the U.S. alternatively was a validating show by Sweden, which dominated from commencement to decorativeness successful a 3-0 triumph during the Tokyo Olympics opener for some teams.
The U.S. came to Tokyo having waited 5 years for the accidental to avenge its shocking quarterfinal nonaccomplishment to Sweden successful the 2016 Rio Olympics. It was the USWNT's earliest exit successful a large tournament, arsenic the squad failed to scope the golden medal crippled for archetypal clip since 1996 erstwhile women's shot was introduced to the Games.
Yet, it was Sweden that played similar a squad looking for golden and vengence, applying contiguous unit to make aboriginal scoring opportunities. After Sweden received 3 of its 7 first-half country kicks successful the opening 10 minutes, and the U.S. struggled with misclears, careless giveaways, ill-advised crosses and wide lethargic play, the World Cup champions soon recovered themselves successful an unfamiliar and uexpected position: playing from behind.
Sofia Jakobsson sent a transverse to Stina Blackstenius, whose header past diving goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher gave Sweden a 1-0 pb successful the 25th minute. The first-half shortage for the U.S. could person been larger had it not been for a imaginable goal-saving sliding tackle by Crystal Dunn successful the 30th infinitesimal and a diving halt by Naeher connected a heavy onslaught minutes later.
Six of Sweden's 10 shots were connected extremity successful the archetypal half, compared to conscionable 1 of 3 for the United States, which mustered 1 first-half country kick.
The champion first-half scoring accidental for the U.S. came successful the closing minutes erstwhile Rose Lavelle's header disconnected a shot played implicit the apical deed the station successful the 45th minute.
Sweden took a 2-0 pb disconnected a country footwear successful the 56th infinitesimal erstwhile Amanda Ilestedt's header deed the backmost station and the rebound was knocked successful by Blackstenius.
Lina Hurtig's header disconnected a provender from Hanna Glas made it 3-0 successful the 72nd minute.
It was the archetypal nonaccomplishment for the USWNT since January 2019 erstwhile they mislaid to France, snapping a 44-game unbeaten streak. The USWNT besides struggled with Sweden successful April erstwhile the 2 teams played to a 1-1 gully during a affable successful Stockholm, with the U.S. needing a precocious punishment footwear from Megan Rapinoe to propulsion even.
Sweden earns 3 points for the victory, establishing itself arsenic the aboriginal favourite successful Group G. The U.S. present faces what is fundamentally must-win crippled erstwhile they look New Zealand connected Saturday astatine 7:30 a.m. ET.
It's nary longer astir vengeance, it's astir survival.