The United States women’s national team fell 3-0 to Sweden in their opening group stage match at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Americans saw their 44-match unbeaten record come to a humbling halt as the Swedes maintained a dominant stance throughout the 90 minutes.
Though the result was not taken lightly by the World Cup champions, star forward Megan Rapinoe admits there is no time to dwell on the past.
“We got our asses kicked, didn’t we?” Rapinoe said. “I thought we were a little tight, a little nervous, just doing dumb stuff. There’s no time to dwell and think about if Sweden is living in our heads or not. We’ve got another game in three days.”
Swedish player Stina Blackstenius scored twice before teammate Lina Hurtig added a third for the country. The U.S. women’s team attempted to retaliate with a run by Christen Press in the 71st minute, but ultimately offered close to nothing in the attack.
Sweden, ranked number 5 in the world, continuously challenges the United States at every major tournament. In 2016, the Swedes were responsible for knocking out the United States from the Rio de Janeiro games in the quarter-finals, the earliest U.S. Olympic exit to date.
“Did we expect this result tonight? No,” Rapinoe added. “It’s frustrating, and it’s frustrating that it’s Sweden. They found a lot of space on us. I don’t even know how many goals we have given up this whole year. I don’t remember the last time we gave up a goal. So to give up three is not great.”
USWNT player Christen Press entered the conversation after the match to state that this should not come as a shock to anyone, despite FIFA rankings and audience favorites.
“I think ultimately as an athlete you go through ups and downs, and this is a hard result, but it’s the nature of a tough tournament,” Press said. “It wasn’t going to be easy. We weren’t going to breeze through six games no matter what. So here we are.”