US Women crash out of Olympics

Published Friday, August 12, 2016 4:21 PM by Shane Barrow
US Women crash out of Olympics

Well that simply did not go as planned.  A poor effort from the US women sent them crashing out of the 2016 Rio Olympics at the quarterfinal stage as they fell in penalty kicks to Sweden.

This team was supposed to win it all.  Defending World Champions. Basically the same squad that won the World Cup last year. Sweden was not supposed to trouble them at all after finishing 3rd in their qualifying group.  Instead the Americans just did not have their typical magic. I guess we should have seen it coming after the shock 2-2 draw with minnows Colombia in the final group match, but still a surprise.

Sweden only managed 2 shots the entire match while the US women fired 27.  It was one of those games where the better team simply did not win.  The sense of urgency was missing though until Sweden scored on a counter attack midway through the 2nd half of play.  The Americans turned it on after that and eventually tied the match through Alex Morgan.  

The US kept pressing but were unable to find the winner despite completely bossing the extra periods.  It would be decided in penalties exactly as Swden had hoped.  Alex Morgan stepped up first and took an awful spot kick that was easily saved.  The writing was on the wall.  Hope Solo made a save to even the penalties up but Kristen Press went last for the USA and fired over the crossbar. Sweden converted and the US crashed out.  Ugly, ugly stuff.

Controversial American goalkeeper Hope Solo spouted off after the game calling Sweden cowards for playing such a defensive and basic game. "Sweden dropped off, didn't want to open play," Solo said. "They didn't want to pass the ball around. They didn't want to play great soccer, entertaining soccer. It was a combative game, a physical game. Exactly what they wanted and exactly what their game plan was. They dropped into a 50. They didn't try and press, they didn't want to open the game and they tried to counter with long balls. We had that style of play when Pia was our coach. I don't think they're going to make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly. But they won. They're moving on, and we're going home."