Stina Blackstenius scored two goals and Sweden defeated the United States at the Olympics with a 3-0 win in the women’s football tournament on Wednesday. The favorite Americans led a 44-match undefeated series as they headed towards the match to win first place in the world and gold in Tokyo Olympics. But fifth-ranked Sweden has been an enemy of the US team in recent years.
The United States got old, with the best chances for the opening half to come in the last minute when Rose Lavelle’s shot hit the bar. Coach Vlatko Andonovski made changes for the second half, replacing Carli Lloyd for Alex Morgan and Julie Ertz for Sam Mewis. But Blackstenius scored again in the 54th minute, beating goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, while the Americans continued to fight. Lina Hurtig then scored in the 72nd minute.
It was the first defeat for the United States under Andonowski, who had joined after former coach Jill Ellis resigned after the team’s World Cup victory in France. The Swedes lost Magda Eriksson to an injury. The team said it trained, but was excluded from the inauguration due to the tournament’s compact schedule.
Sweden withdrew the Americans from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in the quarterfinals, the first-ever Olympic outing in the US. Then, in April, Sweden played a 1-1 draw to the United States in Stockholm, which broke out in a series of victories in January 2019, when the Americans lost to France for the World Cup. Blackstenius’s far corner header, followed by a cross in the 26th minute by Sofia Jacobsen, gave Sweden the lead in the first half.
Tokyo is Sweden’s seventh Olympics. After eliminating the Americans on penalties in the quarterfinals five years earlier, Sweden won the silver medal, losing 2–1 to Germany in the final. The United States has four more Olympic gold medals than any other country. The team is struggling to become the first player since the World Cup title to win Olympic gold.
Sweden will now lead Group G in Saturday’s match against Australia in Saitama, while the United States will face New Zealand. The first two teams in the group advance to the knockout round.