The Tokyo Olympics kicked out Tuesday with the commencement of the soccer and softball competitions, a year after they were postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The opening ceremony is set for Friday.
Follow up with The Times’ Tokyo correspondents for the most up-to-date results, news, and commentary.
On the opening day of group play in women’s soccer at the Tokyo Olympics, Stina Blackstenius scored two goals, one in each half, to lead Sweden to a 3-0 victory over the defending world champion United States.
The loss broke the United States’ 44-game unbeaten record, as well as new coach Vlatko Andonovski’s, who went 22-0-1 in his first 23 games, with the lone draw coming against Sweden.
In the first 24 minutes, American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made four sprawling stops before Blackstenius eventually beat her, jumping in front of defender Abby Dahlkemper to nod home a beautiful right-footed Sofia Jakobsson cross from the outside of the penalty box.
It was the first goal the Americans had given up in seven games and 592 minutes — or since the last time they faced Sweden — and only the second goal they had given up in 16 months.
It wouldn’t be the last, though, as Blackstenius doubled the advantage in the 54th minute, pouncing on a corner kick that had hit the far post and burying it into the top netting with her left foot.
When Lina Hurtig scored in the 72nd minute, it was the first time the US has conceded three goals since a 5-3 victory against Australia in April of this year.
Sweden, a semifinalist in the previous Women’s World Cup and the world’s No. 5 team, knocked out the top-ranked United States in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Olympics, the only time the top-ranked United States has failed to reach the gold medal game in an Olympic event.
In the quarterfinals, the top two teams from each of the three groups, as well as the two best third-place finishers, compete.