U.S. women's soccer team out of Olympics after shootout loss

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Alex Morgan and Christen Press missed penalties in a shootout and the United States women's soccer team crashed out of the Olympics without a medal after losing to Sweden in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Morgan's 77th-minute goal had canceled out Stina Blackstenius' opener for Sweden before the game went to penalties at 1-1, where Sweden won 4-3 and eliminated the three-time defending gold medalists.

The U.S. threatened three minutes into the game when Morgan's header was cleared off the line, andMorgan Brian's follow-up attempt was tipped over the bar by Sweden keeperHedvig Lindahl.

Morgan started another U.S. charge in the 27th minute when she carried the ball wide of the goal then cut back for Carli Lloyd, whose first-time shot was saved.

The Americans' best chance in the first half came just before the break when Mallory Pugh played through Lloyd, butLindahl came off her line to make a good save.

Lloyd came close again as the second half began, but her free kick sailed over the bar.

Sweden, led by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, took the lead in the 61st minute whenLisa Dahlkvist split the U.S. center-backs with a long through ball from within her own half. Substitute Blackstenius ran onto the ball, took one touch and sent a low shot past Hope Solo inside the far post.

The U.S. pushed for an equalizer and came close 10 minutes later when substituteCrystal Dunn squared the ball to a sliding Morgan, who could not keep a shot on target, and Lloyd's follow-up went wide.

With Sweden packing defenders into the box, Pugh's shot went high, before Brian's header drifted wide of the post.

But the U.S. were back level in the 77th minute when Dunn flicked on a long pass with a header that caromed off the face of Sweden'sJessica Samuelsson and fell to Morgan, who slotted home with her first touch from 10 yards.

Lloyd nearly found a winner moments later, but her shot from just inside the box was sent wide with the slightest of deflections from a defender.

With the game still level at the end of 90 minutes, the game went to extra time, where in the 101st minute Morgan tried to round the keeper but againLindahl was there to save a shot from a tight angle.

Lloyd thought she had scored a winner in the closing stages but her goal was ruled out for a foul before her header.

And moments later the U.S. was lucky not be behind as Lotta Schelin's goal for Sweden was controversially ruled out after the U.S. defenders failed to clear a cross.

The U.S. controlled the large majority of possession for the rest of the extra 30 minutes but could not find a winner and the game went to penalties.

Morgan opened the shootout but saw her penalty saved by a divingLindahl, and Sweden was ahead until Solo tippedLinda Sembrant's attempt over the bar in the third round.

But Press fired her shot in the fifth and final round over the bar, and Lisa Dahlkvist fired past Solo as Sweden advanced to the semifinals.