Last week we talked about Canada and their opponents on matchday 1, host team of the 2020 Olympics, Japan. This week we look at Canada’s biggest rival, the #1 ranked women’s team in the World, the USA and their matchday 1 opponents, #5 ranked Sweden.
Especially considering they are the fifth ranked team in the world, Sweden have had markedly little buzz as a favorite to win. Really, they have not even been given much of a chance to compete with the USA to win group G. In what some consider the ‘group of death’, the US Women and Sweden are joined by 9th ranked Australia and 22nd ranked New Zealand. Despite what the international media is saying, Sweden knows from recent Olympic history that they can beat the Americans. They will hope to have a repeat performance of Rio in 2016, when Sweden knocked the USWNT out of the quarter finals, before going on to win the silver medal in the Olympic Competition.
The Americans will not have forgotten that heartbreak and will look to make a statement in their first Olympic match since Rio. The talent of the two sides and the history between them should make this one of the marquee matches of the group stage and if Sweden can get a good result, they certainly will be one of the teams to watch to win gold in Tokyo.