The U.S. women's national soccer team once again fell to Sweden after the latter knocked the Americans out of medal contention at the last Summer Games

By Lindsay Kimble
July 21, 2021 08:52 AM
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Tokyo Olympics Sweden Soccer
Sweden celebrates after scoring a goal against the United States
| Credit: Kyodo via AP Images

History just repeated itself.

The U.S. women's national soccer team (USWNT) fell to Sweden during their Tokyo Olympics Group G match on Wednesday.

The victory was hard-won, though, with Sweden leading out of the gate 2-0 after two goals scored by Stina Blackstenius. Lina Hurtig scored a final goal to secure the win.

"We got our asses kicked, didn't we?" Megan Rapinoe said after, Yahoo Sports reported.

That doesn't mean the USWNT is totally out, though. They can still move on to the quarterfinals should they finish second in group G, or be one of the top two third-place finishers.

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"Hopefully the team will feel a little bit more relaxed," Rapinoe told reporters after the loss. "You play tight, you lose — so [we] should probably switch it up. I think just be more ourselves. I think we just got a little bit in our head but we'll obviously watch film and all that. You drop points at the beginning of the tournament and now you're in sort of do-or-die mode so you've got to pick up points otherwise we're going home quick and we don't want to do that."

"Sweden are one of the best ever in Europe and the world. If we don't play well, we don't win these games," Rapinoe said.

After their victory, Sweden's Amanda Ilestedt said: "We knew we were a good team, we knew we could play this good. We are really happy we did."

Of course, the rivalry between the U.S. and Sweden was intense heading into the face-off, as the latter knocked the American women out of medal contention in the quarterfinals at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio and ultimately won the silver.

Ahead of the game, U.S. team captain Becky Sauerbrunn told the press, "What happened in 2016 is one of the worst results that the senior national team has had in a major tournament."

Sweden Soccer Olympics
Team Sweden and Team USA competing
| Credit: Kyodo via AP Images

"From playing in that game, I know how disappointed we all were and for me, it has lit a fire going into 2019 [World Cup] and also here. It seems kind of rich that we get to play them first game of this Olympics. I'm really excited about that."

After winning the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019, the USWNT could become the first in history to follow the achievement immediately with a win at the Olympics.

In an interview with U Sports ahead of the Games' start, Crystal Dunn got candid about the possibility.

"It would be an incredible achievement," Dunn said, adding that she thinks the team is "more than capable" of a win at the Games, which were previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It would be historical to be the first team to obviously do it … but I think this team is more than capable of being able to do that just given the fact that we had this break to regroup, reset and refocus," Dunn said. "I know after 2016, all of us are hungry to get back out there and really show what this team is all about and hopefully bring home a gold medal."