U.S. unbeaten streak ends at 43

American Megan Rapinoe maintains control under pressure from Sweden’s Jessica Samuelsson in Albufeira, Portugal. (By Raquel Costa — EPA)

The U.S. women’s national team suffered its first defeat in two years Friday, a 1-0 loss to Sweden at the Algarve Cup that ended its unbeaten streak at 43. The Americans (0-1-1) dropped out of championship contention after winning eight of the previous 11 titles at the annual tournament in Portugal.

Their previous defeat came at the Algarve, 1-0 to Japan in March 2012. Since then, the United States had recorded a 36-0-7 record, eight games short of the program’s undefeated milestone set between 2004 and ’07 (43-0-8).

Swedish star Lotta Schelin scored on a header midway through the first half and the U.S. team missed numerous opportunities throughout the afternoon.

The loss came two days after a 1-1 draw with Japan. The last time the Americans had gone two consecutive matches without winning was with a pair of draws with Germany in October 2012.

They will close the group stage in Portugal on Monday against Denmark before playing in a placement match Wednesday.

Another long unbeaten streak — 80 straight at home since November 2004 — will be put to the test next month with two matches against China: April 6 in Commerce City, Colo., and April 10 in San Diego.


Solo; Krieger, Rampone, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg (O’Hara 46th); O’Reilly, Brian (S. Mewis 68th), Lloyd, Rapinoe (K. Mewis 68th); Rodriguez (Press 70th), Wambach (Hagen 81st).

(Leroux missed the match with an illness.)


Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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