American women stunned by Sweden in PKs in Olympic soccer


As Lisa Dahlkvist's penalty shot slipped into the net, a feeling of helplessness consumed goalie Hope Solo and the rest of the United States' Olympic women's team.

There would be no gold, no medal of any kind after Sweden, coached by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, stunned the Americans, 4-3 in penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 standoff.

The United States will not medal in the Olympics for the first time.

Alex Morgan scored in the 77th minute to tie the match at 1. Sweden scored in the 61st minute to break the scoreless duel.

Yes, the Americans outplayed Sweden in nearly ever facet of the game, except the penalty kick phase.

The U.S. outshot the Swedes, 27-6, including 6-2 on goal. The Americans took 12 corner kicks and 20 free kicks, though they could never take advantage.

The Americans won four gold medals and one silver medal in the first five competitions held so far.

The USA is 23-2-4 all-time in the Olympics, having lost only in the gold medal game in 2000 and the opening match of the 2008 tournament, both to Norway.

Sundhage led Team USA to gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and now stopped the U.S. from a three-peat.

Sundhage was also at the helm for the USA's runner-up finish at the 2011 Women's World Cup. During her stint as head coach from 2008-12, Sundhage won three Algarve Cup titles and was named the 2012 FIFA Women's World Coach of the Year.

Sundhage worked alongside current head coach Jill Ellis while she was in the USA, however since she returned to her native land to coach Sweden, the teams have met only three times in very close games, with only one of them under the leadership of Ellis.

The USA failed to win any of those three games, tying two and losing one. The teams tied 1-1 at the Algarve Cup in 2013, the USA lost 1-0 at the Algarve Cup in 2014 and then there was the 0-0 draw at the Women's World Cup last summer.

Ten players on the current roster earned at least one cap under Sundhage: Solo, Becky Sauerbrunn, Stanford grad Kelley O'Hara, Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Carli Lloyd, Ali Krieger, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath.

A handful of American players also spent time playing in Sweden. Engen, Cardinal grad Christen Press, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Klingenberg all have played with and against many of the Sweden National Team players.

From Soccer America's game report:

on O'Hara: "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."

on Press: "Good right-footed shot in traffic was blocked. Strayed offside during a goalmouth scramble. Shot over the bar in shootout."

— USA soccer

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Do Palo Altans still love their city? If not, what should the city do?
By Diana Diamond | 29 comments | 1,884 views

Couples: Reading List
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,506 views

It’s not the memory I had planned, but a memory was made
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 138 views