STOCKHOLM, Sweden (April 10, 2021) – A late Megan Rapinoe penalty kick helped the U.S. Women’s National Team secure a 1-1 draw against Sweden in an international friendly between two of the world’s top-five ranked teams on Saturday evening at an empty Friends Arena.
The match not only extended the USA’s undefeated streak to 38 games, but also marked the 300th career cap for legendary forward Carli Lloyd, who became just the third player – female or male – in the history of international soccer to reach the milestone. Lloyd joins fellow USWNT greats Kristine Lilly (354) and Christie Pearce Rampone (311) in the 300 Cap Club.
Entering the match with a perfect 5-0-0 mark in 2021, the top-ranked USWNT knew from the beginning of the match that fifth-ranked Sweden would prove a tough test as the home side pressured the Americans across the field. While the Americans ended up out-shooting Sweden, 20-9 and 6-2 in shots on goal, Sweden was extremely organized on defense and dangerous on transition via some of Europe’s best forwards.
Lloyd nearly opened the scoring after twenty minutes on a header off a cross from Julie Ertz that sailed high. Perhaps the best chance came minutes later when a driven shot from Rose Lavelle forced a quality diving save by Swedish goalkeeper Jennifer Faulk. Lloyd then again went close on a shot from left that skipped wide just past the far post.
The home side would take the lead past the half hour mark on a set piece as towering forward Lina Hurtig rose high to head in a corner kick from Kosovare Asllani, marking the first goal the USA has allowed since March 12, 2019 against Japan, and ending a run of six straight clean sheets. It was also the first goal scored on USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in 10 matches.
Naeher would come up huge just before the break by denying forward Fridolina Rolfo on a one-on-one opportunity that came from a USA give-away to keep the match within reach.
The USA was fortunate not to concede a second some ten minutes into the second half when forward Sofia Jakobsson was sprung free down the center. Naeher did well to come off her line, close the angle, and force Jakobson wide left. Her cross with an empty net was misplayed by another Swedish attacker near the six-yard box and the USA was able to clear.
The USA created a number of solid chances throughout the final 45 minutes, firing 13 shots to Sweden’s three, but Falk was up for the challenge, denying a point-blank header from Lloyd, making a diving save on a Lavelle shot through traffic, and stone-walling Rapinoe’s near-post shot from seven yards out.
Rapinoe, who came on in the 57th minute, would get the last say, burying a penalty kick with three minutes left for her team-leading sixth goal of the year after Kelley O’Hara was chopped down on the right edge of the penalty area. The goal was Rapinoe’s 58th of her career, moving her to within two of tying Shannon MacMillan and Christen Press for ninth on the all-time list.
The USA created a few excellent chances to win the game at the end, the best ones coming through substitute Kristie Mewis, but her shot from just outside the six-yard box was blocked and then another shot after a scramble from close range went just wide right. While the draw ended the USA’s - and head coached Vlatko Andonovski’s, 16-game winning streak – it kept alive the team’s undefeated streak. The USA is now 34-0-4 since its last defeat in January 2019 against France. The 16-game winning streak was the third-longest in USWNT history.
The USA will close out its two-game European trip when it travels to Le Havre to take on third-ranked France on April 13. That match will be played at Stade Océane at 3 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. local on ESPN2.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
SWE– Lina Hurtig (Kosovare Asllani), 38th minute: The USA found itself in an unfamiliar situation when it conceded first and trailed for the first time in Andonovski’s tenure as head coach. Sweden’s Lina Hurtig set up on the penalty spot as Kosovare Asllani swung in a right-footed corner kick from the left side. As the ball came in, Hurtig rushed to the near post and rose above everyone, flicking the ball back and off the far post for the early lead. It was her 11th international goal. USA 0, SWE 1
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Penalty Kick), 87th minute: Rapinoe had consecutive corner kicks from the left side cleared over the end line by the Sweden defense. On the third, Lindsey Horan nearly got a head on it, but the ball flicked on to the right side of the penalty area and fell to O’Hara, who took a hard touch forward and was tripped by Sofia Jakobsson on the right edge of the box. Rapinoe stepped up and buried the shot low to the left tie the match. USA 1, SWE 1
The draw moved the USA’s all-time record against Sweden to 23-6-12. The only team that has tied the USA more times in its history is China PR, with 13.
U.S. WNT Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Lloyd (300), Sauerbrunn (183), Press (143), O’Hara (135), Dunn (110), Ertz (109), Horan (92), Naeher (68), Lavelle (52), Williams (34), Davidson (29).
The starting lineup averaged 114 caps per player, with six of the USA’s 11 starters having 100+ caps. Only two players in the starting XI – Williams and Davidson – have fewer than 50 caps.
Lloyd made her sixth appearance and fourth start in 2021, and currently has 20,803 minutes played for the USA, which moves her into fourth on the all-time list, passing Mia Hamm. Only five other USWNT players – Lilly, Rampone, Julie Foudy, Hamm and Joy Fawcett have played 20,000+ minutes in a U.S. uniform.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher earned her 68th cap and has 40 clean sheets. Naeher had recorded a shutout in each of her previous 10 appearances for the USA, extending the all-time U.S. record, and had not allowed a goal since the 79th minute of the USA’s 3-2 win over Sweden on Nov. 8, 2019, giving her a shutout streak that ended at 938 minutes.
Kelley O’Hara made her third start of 2021 and earned her 135th cap overall, moving her into sole possession of 25th on the all-time USWNT caps list, breaking a tie with Tisha Venturini and Cat Whitehill.
The only player to play the full 270 minutes at the 2012 SheBelieves Cup, Becky Sauerbrunn earned her 183rd cap. Sauerbrunn ranks 12th in caps in USWNT history and is second among all active players, trailing only Carli Lloyd.
Twenty-two year-old Tierna Davidson made her second consecutive start and played the full 90 minutes, earning her 29th international appearance for the USA. This is the second game in a row that Davidson and Sauerbrunn have started together at center back and their eighth such game overall. This was Davidson’s first career match against Sweden.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden
Date: April 10, 2021
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Friends Arena; Stockholm, Sweden
Attendance: No Fans Allowed
Kickoff: 1:10 p.m. ET / 7:10 p.m. ET
Weather: 44 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
SWE 1 0 1
SWE – Lina Hurtig (Kosovare Asllani) 38th minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Penalty Kick) 87
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 12-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle (3-Samantha Mewis, 65), 9-Lindsey Horan; 6-Lynn Williams (15-Megan Rapinoe, 57), 10-Carli Lloyd (Capt.) (13-Alex Morgan, 65), 23-Christen Press (22-Kristie Mewis, 85)
Substitutes Not Used: 18-Jane Campbell, 14-Emily Sonnett, 25-Alana Cook
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
SWE: 12-Jennifer Falk; 5-Nilla Fischer, 3-Linda Sembrant, 6-Magdalena Eriksson; 4-Hanna Glas, 9-Kosovare Asllani, 17-Caroline Seger (Capt.), 2-Jonna Andersson; 10-Sofia Jakobsson, 8-Lina Hurtig (11-Stina Blacksenius, 77), 18-Fridolina Rolfö (19-Filippa Angeldal, 61)
Substitutes Not Used: 21-Zecira Musovic, 7-Madelen Janogy, 13-Amanda Ilestedt, 15-Jessica Wik, 16-Emma Kullberg, 20-Hanna Bennison, 22-Olivia Schough, 23-Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, 24-Rebecka Blomqvist, 25-Filippa Curmark
Head Coach: Peter Gerhardsson
Stats Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 20 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 9 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 5 / 2
USA-Kelley O’Hara (caution) 69th minute
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
AR1: Tonja Weckström (FIN)
AR2: Heini Hyvönen (FIN)
4th Official: Ifeoma Kulmala (FIN)
U.S. Soccer Insiders Woman of the Match: Julie Ertz