Tokyo 2020: Sweden wallop World Champs, US 3 nil to end 44-match unbeaten record

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor-in-Chief, Abuja

Bemused Megan Rapinoe. ..guessing what happened to Team USA in the 3-0 thrashing in the hands of Sweden.

The greatest surprise of the opening day of Tokyo Olympics was the 3-0 massacre of reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions, United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) by Sweden on Wednesday as women’s football took the center stage in Japan.

For the Team USA, it was a day the players will live to regret as the team’s 44th match unbeaten record was shattered by a strong Sweden senior women’s  national team after a 3-0 hammering of the Americans who have won Olympics Gold medals in four past Games.
A brace by forward  Stephanie Blackstenius scored in the 25th and 54th minutes and another goal from Liam Hurtig in 72nd minute ensured that Sweden got the better of  Team USA.
All efforts for the Americans to come back into the game proved abortive as the Swedish defence was too strong to penetrate by the US women’s team that looked very ordinary on the day their big names like Megan Rapione, Carli Lloyd, Samantha Mewis and co failed to come to the party.

Brazil’s Superstar Marta celebrating one of her two goals in the 5-0defeat of Cina.

Elsewhere, host country Japan forced Canada to a 1-1 draw after Aston Villa’s Mana Iwabuchi equalised for Japan from AC Milan’s Yui Hasegawa’s assist six minutes from full time in their opening Group E game of the football event on Wednesday.

Canada scored the first goal of the Games as early as the sixth minute courtesy of Portland Thorns FC’s Christine Sinclair even as JEF United’s midfielder, Mina Tanaka missed a penalty for Japan in the 54th minute.
Manchester City’s Janine Beckie scored what she thought was her side’s second goal for Canada but the goal was ruled out for offside by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the 60th minute.
Also, Team Great Britain defeated Chile 2-0 in their opening game to top the table as Canada on the other hand will play Chile in their next game.
Another tie of interest was Brazil’s 5-0 thrashing of the Steel Roses, China in a match veterans  Formiga, 43 years, played in her seventh Olympics while ageless Orlando Pride forward, Marta scored a brace in her fourth Olympics.

Team USA player clashing with Nigeria’s Rasheedat Ajibade during the Summer Series in Texas

Goals from North Carolina Courage’s Debinha; AS Roma’s Alves da Silva Andress and Palmeiras’ midfielder, Beatriz gave Brazil 5-0 victory over hapless China.

Two neighbours, Australia and New Zealand clashed but it was the Aussies who carried the day with a hard earned 2-1 win over the Kiwis.
Goals scored by Tina Yallop and veteran Sam Kerr in the 20th and 33rd minutes gifted Australia victory as the 90+1 minute goal by Gina Rennie could not rescue New Zealand from the agony of defeat on Wednesday.

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