The US women’s football team has conquered everything in the football world over the years but have been shocked in the opening game of the Olympics.
The World No. 1 side and four-time Olympic gold medallists at the 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics – women’s football has only been in the Games since 1996 – were left shocked with a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Sweden in the Group G.
Sweden are no slouches at the sport and are ranked 5th in the world.
They also knocked the US out of the Rio Olympics in the quarterfinals before going on to a silver medal.
While it was not unfathomable that Sweden should be the US team, it was that they should beat the US so easily, with social media erupting over the thrashing.
Ultimately, it was not that the US lost, but more how that lost that had fans floored.
Stina Blackstenius scored twice and Lina Hurtig added a third goal
It was incredible as it was the first time in 44 games — a 3-1 loss in a friendly to France in January 2019 — that the Americans had been defeated.
The USA Today report began: “Instead of getting revenge for their ouster at the Rio Olympics, the U.S. women got embarrassed.”
US Team captain Megan Rapinoe was blunt in her assessment after the game.
“It is what it is. We got bopped,” Rapinoe said. “I thought we were a little bit nervous, a bit tight, doing dumb stuff.”
US coach Vlatko Andonovski said that it will come down to their performances to see if they can drag themselves out of this hole and win a five gold medal in seven Olympics.
“It’s obvious we put ourselves in a big hole, but we’re the only ones who can get ourselves out of it,” Andonovski said.
“It’s not going to be easy. We’ve got to get positive results in the next two games, but the fact there is still a chance I know this team is not going to give up.”
Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson warned his players not to become overconfident after their stunning performance.
“Yes, naturally (that can happen), but we also just know we can be happy for three points,” he said.
“But it’s a long tournament. Six games in 17 days if you go all the way. We are not in the quarter-finals yet so we have to get better in every game.”
While the US have come back from a first game loss to win gold at the 2008 Olympics, Australia and New Zealand have a chance of knocking the US out of the Olympics with wins.
The top two teams in each group go through to the finals, while the highest two third ranked teams in groups E, F and G can sneak into the knockout stage
New Zealand face the US on Saturday, while Australia get a shot next Tuesday.