Tokyo Olympics: Sweden surprises the United States in women’s football

USA Women’s 44-match undefeated series is over, 2016 silver medal winners Sweden THRASH top-ranked side 3-0 in Group G Tokyo Olympics opener

A brace from Swedish forward Stina Blackstenius spelled catastrophe for the US women’s national team on Wednesday, as the four-time Olympic gold medalists suffered a shocking 3-0 loss on their Tokyo 2020 debut.

Fifth place Sweden put the pressure on almost immediately with three shots in the first eight minutes, while the World Cup holders showed little sign of the stellar 44-match undefeated streak they’ve enjoyed since 2019.

Blackstenius converted in the 25th minute and shot a header past American keeper Alysssa Naeher with an assist from Sofia Jakobsson. The keeper made five saves in the first half as a dominant Swedish attacker ravaged the American defence.

Lina Hurtig headed home in the 73rd minute to put Sweden 3-0 up against the United States

Sweden's Stina Blackstenius (No. 11) celebrates scoring her second goal against the US against

Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius (No. 11) celebrates scoring her second goal against the US against

Blackstenius doubled Sweden's lead shortly after half-time to put them in control of the game

Blackstenius doubled Sweden’s lead shortly after half-time to put them in control of the game

Blackstenius turns to celebrate her and her country's second goal on Wednesday woensdag

Blackstenius turns to celebrate her and her country’s second goal on Wednesday woensdag

The addition of veteran midfielder Julie Ertz did little to revive the US in the second half as Blackstenius scored again shortly after halftime and hurt midfielder Lina Hurtig even more to give her team a three-goal tie midway through the second half.

The match was personal to Team USA, as the Swedes famously beat the top-ranked team in the Olympic tournament on penalties in the quarter-finals in 2016. But their long-awaited revenge for 48,000 empty seats at Tokyo Stadium was not his.

The United States will then take on New Zealand, while Sweden will face Australia in the group stage on Saturday.

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