TOKYO (AP) — Whereas it definitely wasn’t the Olympic begin the U.S. girls’s soccer staff had anticipated, a uncommon loss didn’t skewer the squad’s hopes for gold.
In truth, it might have lit a fireplace.
Defender Tierna Davidson mentioned Thursday that veteran Kelley O’Hara was rallying the squad forward of Saturday’s match in opposition to New Zealand.
“She was like: ‘We don’t have a alternative. We now have to return out the following recreation and we now have to be completely ruthless.’” Davidson mentioned. “So I feel that’s what everybody has on their thoughts proper now.”
There’s nonetheless probability that the world’s prime ranked staff makes it to the knockout spherical and even a medal match. On the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the USA fell 2-0 to Norway within the first match, then went on to win gold — a reality U.S. ahead Christen Press pointed to after the sport.
“We’ve had a protracted string of wins and I feel we haven’t had loads of video games the place we needed to come again,” Press mentioned. “I feel it was really actually good to have this match. In 2008 we misplaced our first match and staff gained gold. So I feel now we’re seeing this as a studying alternative. And the message is already ‘Heads up, put it behind us, subsequent recreation.’ There’s no time in a event like this to dwell.”
It was the primary loss for the USA since January 2019, when the staff fell to France 3-1 in Le Havre. The U.S. went on to win the World Cup that summer time.
The People are vying for his or her fifth total gold medal, greater than every other nation, in a sport that joined the Olympics solely in 1996. They’re aiming to be the primary girls’s staff to win an Olympic title following a World Cup.
America did not medal on the Rio de Janeiro Video games after it was ousted within the quarterfinals by — yep — Sweden. And the Swedes drew 1-1 with the People in April, the staff’s solely non-victory this yr.
“I feel we simply acquired a bit of bit in our head,” Megan Rapinoe admitted. “We’ll clearly watch movie and all that, however you drop factors to start with of a event and now you’re in type of a do-or-die mode. So that you’ve acquired to choose up factors, in any other case we’re going house fast, and also you don’t wish to try this.”
America strikes on to Saitama, the place they’re going to play the Ferns on Saturday because the group stage continues. Sweden will play Australia within the group.
The Matildas downed New Zealand 2-1 on Wednesday of their opening match in Group G.
With the win, Sweden made a powerful case as potential medalists in Tokyo. The fifth-ranked Swedes gained silver in 2016, falling to champion Germany within the closing match.
“I feel now expectations will hit and also you don’t know the way it will have an effect on every particular person, however I feel we’re ready for no matter emotion comes our method,” veteran goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl mentioned.
There are three teams of 4 groups taking part in on the Olympics. The highest two from every group and the 2 prime third-place finishers advance to the knockout stage.
Britain sits atop Group E after its 2-0 victory over Chile. The Netherlands leads Group F on purpose differential after a 10-3 victory over Zambia, the lowest-ranked staff within the competitors.
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