Sweden stuns USWNT in penalty shootout

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Penalty kicks can be tragic for the team that doesn’t come out on top, and the U.S. Women’s National Team ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline on Friday afternoon.

Lisa Dahlkvist converted the decisive penalty against the United States., giving Sweden a 4-3 win on penalties (1-1 in regulation) to advance to the semifinals at the Olympics.

Alex Morgan and Christen Press each missed for the USWNT in the shootout, with Press’ chance coming prior to Dahlkvist’s conversion. With the result, the U.S. becomes the first reigning World Cup champions to not medal at the following Olympic tournament.

Sweden nearly took the match prior to penalty kicks when Lotta Schelin netted in the 116th minute. However, Schelin’s effort was called back for offsides despite replay showing that the Swedish attacker timed her run perfectly and the goal should’ve stood.

As one of the veteran forces in the USWNT attack, Alex Morgan provided Jill Ellis’ side with a critical finish with under 15 minutes remaining in regulation.

Morgan netted the equalizer in the 77th minute after receiving the ball in the center of the box. Sweden appealed the goal after Kosovare Asllani had been down briefly with an injury and the U.S. opted to play on, however, the referee allowed the U.S. to play on in the situation.

Sweden gained the advantage just after the hour mark, when the underdogs pulled in front for the 1-0 lead. After coming on in the first stanza for the injured Fridolina Rolfo, Stina Blackstenius slotted her close-range effort into the far post, beating goalkeeper Hope Solo.

Despite an overwhelming amount of possession throughout the first half, the U.S. had just one chance to show for their efforts, with Sweden holding strong at the back.