Sweden defeats United States
CHONGQING, China -- The U.S. women's team began World Cup preparations by losing a match for the first time in more than eight years in which it led.
Carli Lloyd's goal off an 11th-minute corner kick was offset when Stina Segerstrom scored in the 16th and Kosovare Asllani in the 60th to give Sweden a 2-1 victory over the Americans on Friday in the opening game of the Four Nations Tournament.
The Americans had not taken a lead and then lost since March 5, 2002, a 3-2 defeat to Norway at the Algarve Cup.
"Very, very disappointed," American midfielder Shannon Boxx said. "We don't have the excuse of a long season. We had good rest, and coming back into our first tournament we need to step it up. I think everyone knows what we need to do. It's mainly coming together as a team and the attitude that we present every game needs to be better."
In the second game, Canada beat China 3-2 on goals by Candace Chapman, Melissa Tancredi and Christine Sinclair. You Jia scored twice for China. In this World Cup warmup tournament, the U.S. plays Canada on Sunday and China on Tuesday.
The Americans will play Sweden at the World Cup in Germany on July 6 in their last opening-round match, after games against North Korea on June 28 and Colombia on July 2.
"Obviously, it's a pretty disappointing first game on the road to the World Cup," defender Christine Rampone said. "At the same time, we have to take the positives away from it. The team has a lot of work to do and we really need to start coming together, clicking and becoming one unit. We have to start that defensively. I think we are doing well individually, but we have to work as a team."
The Americans, who needed to win a pair of playoffs to qualify for the World Cup, were missing star forward Abby Wambach because of a heel injury and top goalkeeper Hope Solo, who still is recovering from September shoulder surgery.
Forward Sydney Leroux entered in the 86th minute, her first match for the women's team.
"Our speed of play wasn't good enough," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. "One thing as a team that we need to get much better at is moving without the ball. This game today tells us many things that we need to work on, but I am confident that we have enough time and enough games to prepare for the World Cup. This was just the first one."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press