clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

USA shocked by Sweden, crashing out of 2016 Olympics on penalties

The USWNT has never gone out of a major tournament this early

The United States women's national team, considered heavy favorites to take gold at Rio 2016, are out before the semifinals after falling to Sweden on penalties today. Stina Blackstenius had given Sweden the lead after an hour before Alex Morgan pounced on a mistake to level the score in the 77th minute. Despite chances for both sides and some controversial calls to wave off goals, the match went to extra time and then penalty kicks. Sweden's 4-3 edge in the tiebreaker marks the USWNT's earliest exit ever in either a World Cup or Olympic tournament.

The shootout started poorly for the United States when Morgan's penalty kick was saved by Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl. After Lindsey Horan and Carli Lloyd converted the next two kicks for the USWNT, Solo punched away Linda Sembrant's kick, leaving both teams level at 2-2 after three attempts. U.S. substitute Christen Press stepped up to take the fifth kick for the U.S. but her shot went well over the goal. Solo tried some gamesmanship, delaying Sweden's kick by at least a minute to change gloves, but Lisa Dahlqvist was not disturbed, sending the winning kick past the longtime US #1.

The Americans were the clear favorite going into the match but Sweden's organized defense presented a challenge for the United States, who struggled to generate chances and put shots on frame. After an hour of defensiveness from Sweden, Stina Blackstenius sprung forward on a dangerous counter attack and received a pass from deep in the midfield that split the United States defenders. American center back Julie Johnston struggled to recover as Blackstenius ran by and converted her shot to the far post from 15 yards out.

In the 77th minute, Alex Morgan equalized for the United States. Despite a Swedish player being down, referee Anna-Marie Keighly did not whistle. Dunn received a pass from Heath - standing in at right back as the US pushed for a goal - and played a header to Morgan which took a deflection off Jessica Samuelsson. Taking advantage of a huge slice of luck, Morgan ran into the center and scored her close-range shot.

The score remained level after 90 minutes and the game went to extra time. In this tournament, FIFA is experimenting with allowing a fourth sub during extra time and both teams entered extra time with two remaining substitutions. U.S. coach Jill Ellis made a substitution for substitute Megan Rapinoe who tore her ACL in December 2015. Rapinoe was only able to manage 30 minutes against Colombia last Tuesday and entered in the 73rd minute of today's match.

In the span of 30 seconds near the end of extra time, both Sweden and the United States each had a goal disallowed. Lloyd's header following a cross from Dunn was disallowed due to a foul on Swedish defender Magdalena Ericsson. Even more controversially, Lotta Schelin's goal at the other end was called back for offside despite replays showing that she was clearly on.

Highlights will be added when they become available.