Sweden end USA's 44-game unbeaten run
A pair of goals from Sweden's Stina Blackstenius spelled catastrophe for the US women's team on Wednesday, as the four-time Olympic gold medallists suffered a shock 3-0 defeat in their Tokyo 2020 debut.
Fifth-ranked Sweden put the pressure on almost immediately with three shots in the first eight minutes, while USA showed little sign of the stellar unbeaten run they have enjoyed since 2019. Blackstenius converted after 25 minutes, rocketing a header past Alyssa Naeher with an assist from Sofia Jakobsson. The goalkeeper had five saves in the first half as a dominant Swedish forward line battered the Americans' defence. The addition of veteran midfielder Julie Ertz did little to revive the US in the second half, as Blackstenius again scored nine minutes into the second half, and midfielder Lina Hurtig heaped on more pain to give her side a three-goal cushion midway through the second period. The match was personal for Team USA: The Swedes famously knocked the four-time World Cup winners out of the Olympic tournament on penalties in the quarter-finals in 2016. But their much hoped-for revenge in front of 48,000 empty seats inside the Tokyo Stadium was not to be. USA face New Zealand, while Sweden play Australia in the group stage on Saturday.
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