Real Madrid’s Kosovare Asllani played an integral part in Sweden’s 3-0 win against the U.S. in their opening Olympic match. Asllani immediately unlocked the U.S. defense, finding Stina Blackstenious in the 5th minute. The striker’s touch let her down and the chance was wasted but Asllani and Sweden continued to create opportunities.
Asllani played Sofia Jakobsson through on goal in the 8th minute but Crystal Dunn made a sliding challenge to cut break up the attack. The U.S. responded with a chance of their own. Dunn played Christen Press down the flank. Press crossed to the head of Alex Morgan but Morgan couldn’t trouble the keeper.
Sweden quickly reestablished dominance. Blackstenious fired directly into the arms of Alyssa Naeher after a poor giveaway by the U.S.
In the 24th minute, Fridolina Rolfo had a dangerous shot saved. One minute later, Jakobsson swung in a near-post cross to the head of Blackstenious, who redirected it into the back of the net.
Asllani split the U.S. defense five minutes later. She played it to Jakobsson, who looked to be one on one with Naeher but Dunn made another sliding challenge. Sweden continued to slice through the American midfield and defense but the U.S. still had a chance to equalize late in the half.
Kelley O’Hara swung in an early cross and Rose Lavelle slid toward the back post and headed the ball off of the goal post.
Sweden made it 2-0 in the 54th minute. Sweden swung in a corner and the header struck off the post. Blackstenious was well-positioned and got to the ball first, lifting it past Naeher.
The U.S. fought to try and get back into the match. Lindsey Horan lofted a pass to substitute Megan Rapinoe. She squared to the onrushing Press, who hit her shot off the post.
Sweden scored again in the 72nd minute. Lina Hurtig was unmarked in the box and headed them to a 3-0 lead.
Sweden will take on Australia on Saturday, July 24th. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 a.m. EST.