The U.S. women's national team staged a late comeback to earn a 1-1 draw against Sweden on Saturday in Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The draw comes in the first of two friendlies in Europe during the international window. Swedish striker Lina Hurtig and USWNT forward Megan Rapinoe recorded goals during the game. It is the first match USWNT haven't won since November of 2019.
In the first game away from U.S. stadiums in 2021, the number one ranked team in the world faced the fifth-ranked Sweden and the match was one of the final opportunities for USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski to evaluate players ahead of finalizing his roster for the Tokyo Olympics.
USWNT vs. Sweden (Final)
⚽ Sweden: Lina Hurtig (38')
⚽USA: Megan Rapinoe (87')
First half tempo
In the opening five minutes of the match Sweden sat in a back three, but also made an effort to go head to head with the USWNT instead of sitting low and absorbing pressure. The Swedish side shifting tactically a bit eventually dropping into a back five in an effort to absorb any pressure from the typically high pressing USA.
Sweden earned the first corner of the match, and spent time in the U.S. half, though didn't initially get dangerous looks on goal. The early missed opportunities allowed USWNT to establish tempo of their own as the match approached the half hour mark.
The extra pressure didn't dismay the Swedes as the team kept applying pressure of their own with the pay off coming in the 38th minute as the team scored off a set piece corner. Kosovare Asllani sent the ball into the box, as Alyssa Naeher came out to play the ball, allowing Hurtig to space to connect on goal.
Naeher would come up with a huge save on Fridolina Rolfö just before halftime on a counter by the Swedish side.
Second half shift
The USWNT entered the second half with no substitutions by head coach Andonovski, as the team applied more pressure and played with sense of urgency to start the final 45 minutes. Sweden kept a solid shape against the USWNT and counterattacked open spaces on the field when possible, almost extending their lead in the second half.
Substitutions for USWNT began just ahead of the hour mark as Rapinoe came on for Lynn Williams in the 57th minute. Her impact on the match would faded as the minutes ticked away. Though the positioning of the contact was in question, a penalty was called on an obvious foul on Kelley O'Hara.
Rapinoe stepped to the penalty spot and converted the attempt to snatch victory away from Sweden.
USWNT will continue their European tour during the international window as they now get set to face France on Tuesday, April 13.