Lloyd's goal gives U.S. win over Sweden
SKELLEFTEA, Sweden -- Carli Lloyd scored on a deflected shot in the 39th minute Saturday to give the United States a 1-0 victory over Sweden in a women's Olympic tuneup.
Lloyd dribbled past three defenders inside the box, then fired a low left-footed shot that glanced off Sara Thunebro's leg and past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.
The victory was the United States' 20th straight this year, including one on penalty kicks over Canada in the final of CONCACAF Olympic qualifying.
Lloyd was grateful for her good fortune.
"Yeah, it was a deflection, but it's always exciting to score a goal," said Lloyd, who also scored in the Americans' 4-0 victory over Norway three days earlier. "I just wanted to help the team win."
The first match between the two countries in Sweden gave the Americans their 16th win in 25 meetings. Sweden has won five with four draws.
"Sweden has a great team, they played us tough," Lloyd said. "This game was very important. We're working towards the Olympics. We want to get that gold."
Sweden, ranked third by FIFA and among the Olympic favorites along with the defending champion United States, had two scoring chances late in the first half and another early in the second thwarted by goalkeeper Hope Solo.
The match was the first for Pia Sundhage as coach of the United States against her native country. She played for Sweden in two World Cups and one Olympics.
Sundhage said the result wasn't important.
"Of course you gain some confidence, but we (were) working on some tactical stuff," she saud. "At halftime, it was nice to hear the players say they need to challenge themselves ..."
The United States next plays Brazil on July 13 near Denver, and July 16 at San Diego before heading to China.