The USA is out of the Olympics. Not only won't it do what no one else has done -- capture Olympic gold a year after winning the Women's World Cup -- but it won't even medal. The Americans fell to
nemesis Sweden in a shootout after their quarterfinal game ended 1-1 in Brasilia.
The Americans had a huge edge in the play but needed a lucky bounce for Alex Morgan
's equalizer in
the 77th minute. In overtime, both teams had goals waived off, but the Swedes were robbed a clear goal. In the shootout, Morgan and Christen Press
missed in the first and fifth rounds as Sweden
prevailed, 4-3. USA-SWEDEN EXPRESS: Aug. 12 in Brasilia
USA 1 Sweden 1.
Goals: Morgan 77;
(Sweden wins 4-3 on penalties.) U.S. Player Ratings: Starters RATING PLAYER (TEAM) GP/G
5 Hope Solo (Seattle
Might have come out earlier on breakaway goal but finish was excellent. Strode through heavy traffic to punch clear a threatening cross. Dodgy left-footed clearance in extra
time wasn’t punished. Saved one shootout attempt.
5 Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 86/2.
Got forward to link up with Heath and served a few good balls from
midfield. Took a crack from about 25 yards out that zipped over the crossbar. 4 Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 41/8.
Beaten on the Swedish goal when caught out wide in a
back three and couldn’t close the gap in time. Solid otherwise until fatigue set in. In extra time scuffed one ball and whiffed on another, Both times offside flag went up, the second time
incorrectly. 6 Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 113/0.
Cut off numerous passes and through balls, delivered several threatening throw-ins, pushed into the middle third to
play connecting balls to the midfielders. 5 Megan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns), 68/3.
Strong block in extra time stopped substitute Olivia Schough. Saw a lot of the ball
playing well upfield in the attack, didn’t find the time and space to hit a dangerous cross. Held the ball well under pressure in advanced positions, lost a couple of physical duels in the
defensive third. 5 Allie Long (Portland Thorns), 14/2.
Efficient and poised in the middle. Knocked clear a few loose balls on set plays.
6 Morgan Brian
(Houston Dash), 58/4.
Clipped a nice ball in the final minute that Rapinoe couldn’t quite reach. Played a variety of linking balls and also anchored the middle when Long was
substituted. Smashed her shootout PK high into the net. 6 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), 122/15.
Dominated the right flank for much of the game with her energy and guile,
crossing and set plays were erratic. Dropped to right back late in regulation. Tested the keeper with a long-range floater that was tip-saved, and put a shot on frame in stoppage time. Ball that
Johnston missed bounced off her leg on goal that was disallowed. 6 Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado), 17/4.
Consistently troubled the Swedes by running the channels and angling
inside from the wing. Got her head on the ball that bounced off an opponent for Morgan to finish. Great runs to the byline were not rewarded. Lung-busting run in extra time helped snuff a Swedish
counter. 5 Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 230/99).
Battled and fought for every ball but the finishing faltered except in the shootout. Fired a free kick over the bar from good
range early in second half, dragged a shot wide from another free kick. Unlucky that a solid-left-footed shot was deflected just wide and goal was disallowed for a pushing foul. Dropped way back to
block a shot in extra time. 5 Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), 116/69.
Nailed the equalizer with her left foot with a classic poacher’s finish but weak shootout attempt was
saved. Hit the side netting in the 120th minute. Struggled during the first half: missed an easy trap with the goal in sight, took the wrong angle on a ball from Pugh in behind the back line.
7 Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 39/16.
Injected pace and danger to the USA attack. Headed the ball that yielded equalizing goal. Got to
the byline to serve a good ball that was headed clear, dribbled past several opponents to take shot that was blocked, hit cross that Lloyd headed in while committing a foul.
Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), 115/31.
Won ball with a hard tackle that set in motion scoring sequence that tied the game. Hit one good deep ball on a corner and delivered a couple of good
passes but other serves fizzled out.
4 Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 74/34.
Good right-footed shot in traffic was blocked. Strayed offside during a goalmouth
scramble. Shot over the bar in shootout. NR Lindsay Horan (Portland Thorns), 24/3.
Took over for Pugh in second period of extra time and calmly converted PK.
1-low; 5-average; 10-high.)
TRIVIA. Only once before in a major international competition had the USA women lost a penalty-kick
shootout. Japan prevailed, 3-1, in the 2011 Women’s World Cup final.
Aug. 12 in Brasilia
USA 1 Sweden 1.
Goals: Morgan 77; Blackstenius 61.
(Sweden wins 4-3 on penalties.)
USA -- Solo; O’Hara (Rapinoe 72; Press 99), Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg, Heath, Brian, Long (Dunn,
64), Pugh (Horan 114), Lloyd, Morgan.
Sweden -- Lindahl, Rubensson (Eriksson 71), Fischer, Sembrant, Samuelsson (Berglund 119), Seger, Dahlqvist, Asllani, Jakobsson (Schough 91), Rolfo
(Blackstenius 18), Schelin.
Referee: Anna-Marie Keighley (New Zealand).