USA winger Megan Rapinoe admitted her side got their “asses kicked” in a 3-0 opening defeat to Sweden at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - a result which ended their 44-game unbeaten run.
Stina Blackstenius scored twice and Lina Hurtig got the other to inflict another Olympic defeat on the Americans, after consigning the world champions to their earliest ever exit at a Games with a penalty shoot-out win at Rio 2016.
“We got our asses kicked, didn’t we?” Rapinoe said afterwards.
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“I thought we were a little tight, a little nervous, just doing dumb stuff. Did we expect this result tonight? No.
“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.
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It is what it is, we got bopped, and we have two more games coming quick and fast. And now we know exactly what we need to do. We need to win these games and eventually get out of the group and go from there.
The defeat was the USA’s first since Vlatko Andonovski became head coach, after Jill Ellis stepped down following their victory at the 2019 World Cup. They return to action against New Zealand on Saturday.
“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,” said forward Christen Press.
“It wasn't going to be easy. We weren't going to breeze through six games no matter what. So here we are.”
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For Sweden, it was an ideal start, as they look to go one better than the silver medal they won in Rio, when they were beaten by Germany in the final.
“I know for a fact that you can go very far in a tournament even if you lose to the USA or whoever you play in the first game," goalkeeper Hedwig Lindahl said.
"So in the end I don't know how much it means, but for sure we showed the world and ourselves that we can play well against a team like the U.S. or any team.”
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