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USA vs. Sweden, International Friendly: Final Score 1-0 as Rose Lavelle Leads U.S. to Victory

The USWNT defeated Sweden in the first of its two friendly matches in Europe this week.

USA Women v Sweden Women - International Friendly Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images

The United States Women’s National Team defeated Sweden 1-0 on Thursday afternoon, winning for the third consecutive time on Swedish soil. Rose Lavelle of the Boston Breakers provided all of the offense from a Crystal Dunn assist in the second half.

How it Happened

Sweden was the better team in opening half hour of the match. However, the Swedes lacked the final ball needed to produce quality chances. In the 18th minute, Olivia Schough took a shot from just outside the 18 that forced Alyssa Naeher to back track and tip the ball over the crossbar. This was the first real chance of the match for either side.

In the final 15 minutes of the first half, the USWNT picked up the pace and was able to open up the Swedish defense. Lavelle and Dunn were instrumental in applying pressure and Dunn came close to scoring in the 44th minute but was denied by Hilda Carlen.

Allie Long nearly cost the U.S. a goal in the 44th minute when she turned the ball over in the final third but was able to get back and clear the ball off the line to keep the match deadlocked.

The attack-minded USWNT kept up the pressure in the opening minutes of the second half and the Yanks were able to get the match-winning goal in the 56th minute. Dunn sent a fantastic through ball to Lavelle, who was making a run down the right wing and she was able to slot home her second career goal for the senior team.

Sweden mae things interesting in the final 10 minutes of the match with two golden opportunities to equalize. Kosovare Asllani hit the crossbar in the 86th minute and Lotta Schelin had her attempt saved by Naeher in the 92nd minute.

The match finished 1-0 as the USWNT kicked off the Scandinavian trip off with a win. This was the first win in five matches for the U.S. against Sweden.

Final Thoughts

The U.S. wasn’t perfect but did its best to hold onto the lead in the final minutes of the match. The Yanks didn’t dominate Sweden by any means and at times were outplayed. However, jet lag may have been a factor on Thursday as most of the players were involved in action over the weekend in the National Women’s Soccer League and perhaps weren’t fully recovered.

Lavelle and Dunn were exciting to watch and wreaked havoc on the Swedish defense with quick runs down the wings and opened up play to allow crosses into the box. These two exciting young players appear to have promising careers ahead for the USWNT.

Sweden had 10 corner kicks and out-shot the U.S., 14-7. It was a much different side than what we saw in the Olympic quarterfinal and the Swedes were not afraid to move forward and try to open up the match. They had plenty of chances to score but ultimately were unable to capitalize. Naeher did well to keep the clean sheet and made two big saves at the end of the match.

The USWNT will be back in action on Sunday afternoon against Norway at 1 p.m.