The reigning world champions have been convincingly crushed of their first group sport at Tokyo 2020
The U.S. girls’s nationwide staff’s 44-game unbeaten streak got here to a stunning finish on Wednesday, the world champions shedding 3-0 to Sweden of their first match at this summer time’s Olympic Video games.
Vlatko Andonovski’s facet went into this summer time’s occasion because the heavy favourites for the gold medal, having received 22 of their 23 video games beneath his cost.
Nonetheless, their pursuit of the highest prize acquired off to the worst begin doable in Tokyo.
Sweden are the one staff that Andonovski’s facet have confronted and have not crushed since he took over, the pair drawing 1-1 back in April. On that occasion, the U.S. were fortunate not to lose, winning a late, controversial penalty to equalise.
On Wednesday, the Scandinavian nation went one higher with an unbelievable efficiency within the opening sport of Group G.
They have been the higher staff from the primary whistle, with a lot of saves from USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher serving to to maintain the rating down as Stina Blackstenius gave Sweden a half-time lead.
The 25-year-old ahead added a second shortly after the break, earlier than Lina Hurtig, who scored towards the U.S. again in April, headed in a 3rd purpose with 18 minutes to play.
It was the USA’ first loss since January 2019, once they have been defeated 3-1 by France in a pleasant. Having received the 2019 Girls’s World Cup with an ideal successful report, it was additionally their first aggressive defeat since they have been knocked out of the 2016 Olympic Video games by Sweden, on penalties.
What went mistaken for the USWNT?
She suffered a knee damage in Could whereas enjoying for her membership, the Chicago Crimson Stars, and did not seem in any of the warm-up friendlies earlier than this summer time’s match.
With out her within the beginning line-up, the USWNT appeared out of kinds in midfield, with Sweden in a position to carve via and create possibilities.
Ertz got here on at half-time, changing Sam Mewis for her first minutes since that damage. Nonetheless, Sweden continued to pose loads of issues, notably as their opponents started to chase the sport extra and depart gaps that could possibly be exploited.
Andonovski’s facet face New Zealand subsequent, perceived to be the weakest staff within the group, and the top coach will probably be searching for an enormous response from his staff.
The U.S. have been unfortunate to not get on the scoresheet towards Sweden, hitting the woodwork on two events whereas Carli Lloyd additionally produced an enormous save from Hedvig Lindahl, however Sweden may have added a lot extra targets to their remaining tally as effectively.
With the turnaround very brief between video games, the following fixtures approaching Saturday, it is possible that Andonovski will rotate closely and he’ll anticipate those that come into the staff to stake their declare for extra minutes because the match goes on, notably with locations up for grabs following this unbelievable opening defeat.
For extra on the USWNT’s possibilities on the Olympics and to listen to from visitors resembling Hope Solo, subscribe to Goal’s new podcast, ‘All Of Us: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show’, wherever you hearken to your podcasts.