• Saturday Aug 13, 2016

    U.S. women eliminated from Olympics, Sweden prevails on penalties

    USA's Tobin Heath (white jersey) and Elin Rubensson of Sweden challenge for the ball during their Women's Olympic Football Tournament quarterfinal on August 12, 2016, in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

     

    BRASILIA, Brazil -- For the first-ever time, the United States women’s national have failed to reach the semifinals of an Olympic Games.

    The four-time champion was eliminated by Sweden on penalty kicks, 4-3, after their quarterfinal ended in a 1-1 draw after extra time on Friday at the Estadio Mane Garrincha.

    In the final four, Sweden -- guided by former U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage, who directed the Americans to gold medals in 2008 and 2012 -- will meet host Brazil at the Estadio Maracana on Tuesday.

    Alex Morgan, who tallied the lone U.S. goal, had her penalty attempt saved by goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl and Christen Press hit her shot wide left. Lindsey Horan, Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian converted their chances for the current FIFA and CONCACAF champion.

    Sweden's Lisa Dahlkvist connected on the winning penalty kick. Lotta Schelin, Kosovare Asllani and Caroline Seger also put away their opportunities as USA goalkeeper Hope Solo saved Linda Sembrant's try.

    The Swedes grabbed a stunning 1-0 advantage in the 61st minute, when Stina Blackstenius latched onto a long pass and scored off a counterattack. With center back Julie Johnston bearing down on her, Blackstenius slipped the ball into the lower left corner past Solo for her second international goal.

    The defending champion pressured heavily and its persistence finally paid off in the 77th minute. Crystal Dunn’s header off a long ball sent into the box deflected off defender Jessica Samuelsson to Morgan, who scored off a sliding shot for her fifth Olympic goal and a 1-1 tie.

    Although the U.S. was eliminated, the official result will go down as a draw, meaning the Americans remain unbeaten in 2016 at 16W-3D-0L. They were also trying to become the first team to win the FIFA Women's World Cup and the Olympics in consecutive years.

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