Sweden Ousts USA in Women’s Soccer Quarterfinal at Olympics

"U.S.A. midfielder Morgan Brian battles with Sweden's Elin Rubensson during Friday's quarterfinal in Brasilia." (Credit to Oregon Live.)
"U.S.A. midfielder Carli Lloyd dribbles during Friday's Women Soccer Quarterfinal at the Rio Olympics." (Credit to OregonLive.com)
“U.S.A. midfielder Carli Lloyd dribbles during Friday’s Women Soccer Quarterfinal at the Rio Olympics.” (Credit to OregonLive.com)

After winning their group on Tuesday, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team were hoping to put in a better result in their quarterfinal match vs Sweden. After pulling out a 2-2 draw against Colombia, the U.S. were expecting a tougher test against the fourth ranked team in the world.

In their three group-stage matches, the U.S.A. defeated New Zealand 2-0, France 1-0, before drawing with Colombia in their final group-stage match on Tuesday. Seven points earned them top honors in Group A moving forward.

Sweden, who posted a 1-1-1 record in Group E, is managed by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. Sundhage managed the U.S. from 2008-2012, winning two Olympic Gold Medals in her tenure.

After a first half that saw zero goals, but plenty of chances for each side, Sweden scored the opening goal in the 61st minute. Stina Blackstenius tallied as she split two U.S. defenders and scored past goalkeeper Hope Solo for a 1-0 lead.

U.S.A. would score the equalizer in the 77th minute as Alex Morgan took advantage of a Sweden defensive miscue and tallied her sixth Olympic goal of her career.

Following 90+ minutes and two extra 15 minutes halves of extra time, the game moved to a penalty kick shoot-out.

After missing their first shot, the U.S.A. would bounce back with goals from Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian. Hope Solo kept the U.S.A. in the shoot-out with a huge save in Round three.

However, Christen Press soared her attempt over the crossbar in round four. The biggest moment came in Round five as the U.S.A. needed another huge save from Solo to keep them in the tournament.

Even after exchanging her gloves for a new pair from the bench, Lisa Dahlkvist left Solo flat-footed as her shot found the back of the net for 4-3 Sweden victory.

The U.S.A. dominated possession 64% to 36%, while only having five shots on target out of their 26 in total. Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl kept her team in the match, making four saves.

According to MLS Soccer, “a new gold-medal winner will be crowned since Norway beat the U.S. in 2000”. It is definitely a hard-pill to swallow for the USWNT as they fly back to the states empty-handed.

As for Sweden, they will await the winner of hosts Brazil and Australia in their semifinal match on Tuesday.

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