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Rio Olympics Gold Medal Favorites USWNT Go Home Empty-Handed

They lost in the quarterfinals to Sweden in a penalty shootout.

USA v Sweden Quarterfinal: Women's Football - Olympics: Day 7 Photo by Celso Junior/Getty Images

Part of the reason this is coming out so late after the game is because, if by some miracle, you avoided hearing about this result and were able to get home and watch the game, I didn’t want to ruin it for you. A bigger reason is because I just didn’t want to write about the USWNT losing.

It was a frustrating loss because we had the possession, the opportunities, and the shots on goal. Nothing was going in.

Sweden (probably due to the coaching of ex-U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage) figured out the formula to beat the U.S.—stack nine players in the box, wait for a mistake, and then counterattack. And that’s how Sweden scored first—on an well-played counterattack in the 61st minute. Julie Johnston chased Stina Blackstenius down and went for the slide tackle, but Blackstenius got the shot off to the far post just in time.

We only had to wait 16 minutes for the U.S. to respond in the form of an Alex Morgan left-footed one-timer. A Swedish player was down on the pitch at the time, but the U.S. pressed forward and got the equalizer.

Extra time was about the same as the rest of the game—tense and anxiety-inducing. At the end of the second extra time, Carli Lloyd scored, only to have it called back for a foul. Almost immediately, Lotta Schelin of Sweden also scored, but had it called back for an offside (she wasn’t even close to being offside).

It was going to come down to a shootout.

With one save by Lindahl and a miss by Christen Press, Sweden took it 4-3 in penalty kicks, despite Hope Solo getting an amazing save.

The USWNT’s next match is on September 15 vs. Thailand at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.