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Sweden shuts out U.S. women in soccer opener at Tokyo Olympics

United States Women's National Team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher looks at the scoreboard after losing 3-0 against Sweden in a Group G game at the 2020 Summer Games on Wednesday in Tokyo. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI
United States Women's National Team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher looks at the scoreboard after losing 3-0 against Sweden in a Group G game at the 2020 Summer Games on Wednesday in Tokyo. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

July 21 (UPI) -- The United States Women's National Team experienced a very rare feeling Wednesday, ending up on the wrong end of a shutout to Sweden in their first game of the Tokyo Olympics and snapping a 44-game unbeaten streak.

Sweden striker Stina Blackstenius scored twice in the 3-0 triumph at Tokyo Stadium. Fellow forward Lina Hurtig iced the group stage game with another goal in the 72nd minute.

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Sweden, the No. 5 team in the FIFA Women's World Ranking, outshot the top-ranked Americans 17-13 and totaled nearly twice as many shots on target.

Right wing Sofia Jakobsson assisted Sweden's first score in the 25th minute. Jakobsson dribbled the ball to the right of the U.S. box and ripped a cross toward the near post. Blackstenius ran into the area and flicked a header past U.S. keeper Alyssa Naeher for first blood.

Sweden held onto the lead through halftime and added a second goal about nine minutes into the second half.

Naeher failed to clean up a missed shot, which went off the left post, to start that sequence. Blackstenius was in the area and smacked in a follow-up shot from point-blank range.

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The American women missed several chances to score down the stretch. Right back Hanna Glas helped Sweden add some insurance midway through the second half. The defender received a pass on the right flank and chipped a cross toward the far post. The pass dropped into Hurtig, who headed a shot over Naeher.

The loss was the U.S. women's first since a 3-1 setback to France on Jan. 19, 2019.

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The Americans look to rebound in their second Group G match against New Zealand at 7:30 a.m. EDT Saturday at Saitama Stadium in Saitama, Japan.

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Simone Biles stands on the floor after winning the gold medal in the floor exercise at the Olympic Arena of the Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

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