The U.S. women's soccer team's two-year unbeaten streak ended at 43 games Friday with a 1-0 loss to Sweden and former coach Pia Sundhage at the Algarve Cup in Albufiera, Portugal.
Lotta Schelin beat goalkeeper Hope Solo with a header in the 24th minute. The U.S. had been 36-0-7 since a 1-0 loss to Japan at the Algarve Cup on March 5, 2012, and 16-0-4 under Tom Sermanni, who took over as coach after Sundhage left in 2012 to lead her native Sweden.
The U.S., which was eliminated from contention for the title, had a chance to take the lead in the 15th minute, but Abby Wambach's penalty kick was pushed past a post by goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl after American midfielder Amy Rodriguez was fouled.
"You're always going to lose games in football. That's how it works," Sermanni said. "Sometimes you win games that perhaps you should have lost. Sometimes you lose games that perhaps you should have won. But as I said, today we missed a penalty at nil-nil, and in the last 15 minutes we had four very good goal-scoring opportunities. And if you don't take those, that makes a difference."
Sweden (2-0) leads Group B with six points, two ahead of Japan, which defeated Denmark 1-0. The U.S. (0-1-1), which had won the tournament nine times in 18 previous trips, has one point heading into its Group B finale against Denmark (0-2) on Monday.
Sisters Samantha and Kristie Mewis entered in the 68th minute, with Samantha making her national team debut. Sarah Hagen made her first international appearance in the 81st minute.
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