Huge disappointment for the USA Women at the World Cup today as they lost 2-1 to Sweden and with now play Brazil in the quarter-finals. Today’s defeat was the first time the USA has ever lost in the group stages at the World Cup.
The match started with a high tempo and the standard rarely dropped throughout the 90 minutes.
USA midfielder Carli Lloyd hit a long range dipping effort in the opening minutes which went just wide. From the restart an inadvertent USA flick-on saw Lotta Schelin one-on-one with Hope Solo, but the American goalkeeper made a huge save to keep the game scoreless.
Sweden were not to be denied though and they got the opener after Schelin was bundled over by Amy LePeilbet in the penalty area. Lisa Dahlkvist stepped up and scored from the spot.
The goal seemed to spur on the U.S. and almost equalized just past the half hour mark when Amy Rodriguez’s shot hit the crossbar.
But you got the feeling this was not going to be the U.S.’s day when minutes later, Sweden’s Nilla Fischer free-kick took a massive deflection to leave Solo stranded.
At half-time the U.S. found themselves ahead of Sweden in every statistical category but the most important one, number of goals.
In the second half the U.S. continued to press the game, looking for a goal that would get them back in the match. They finally got that goal midway through the half when Abby Wambach scored from a corner, her tenth career goal in the Women’s World Cup.
After the goal the USA totally dominanted the last 20 minutes of play. How they did not score an equalizer I don’t know. The closest the U.S. came to scoring was in the 86th minute when substitute Kelley O’Hara missed a wide-open goal from 15 yards, following a square ball from Lauren Cheney.
So next up for the U.S. on Sunday is Brazil who was the runner-up to the U.S. at the last two Olympics and to Germany at the 2007 World Cup, and is led by five-time FIFA player of the year Marta.