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Chelsea's Hedvig Lindahl the hero as Sweden pull off major upset over USWNT at Rio Olympics

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We don't often (get to) write about 2015 WSL champions Chelsea LFC*, even though, they, unlike the men's team, did not suffer a major form outage in after their title-winning season.  While 2016 sees them not atop the Women's Super League table as they trail Manchester City by 10 points at the moment, they do have two games-in-hand and are still well on course for Champions League qualification.

The league seems to be, more or less, on break at the moment thanks to the Rio Olympics and the associated women's football tournament, which is where we find Chelsea goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, the hero of Sweden.  The Swedes struggled through the group stage, barely beating South Africa before getting blown out by Brazil 5-1 and battling to a scoreless draw against China.  They advanced by virtue of not being the worst third-place finisher in any of the three groups, setting up a tie against heavy favorite USA in the quarterfinal.

The game went just about as one would expect such affairs to go.  USA dominated possesion (65-35%), dominated shots (27-6), dominated corners (20-9), dominated the play, but couldn't make that dominance count.  Sweden looked to counter and even managed to take the lead on the hour-mark.  USA finally breached Lindahl's goal with about a quarter of an hour left, but could not find a winner.  Lindahl made five saves, then made one more in the shootout.  Afterwards, her opposing number, Hope Solo said things that are often said in such situations and then possibly regretted later.

Sweden now move on to face other massive favorites Brazil in Tuesday's semifinals.  Then again, Brazil also needed a shootout to advance past Australia.  You never know in knockout competitions...

* This is mostly due to lack of bandwidth — Do you want to write about them? Please do get in touch. — and more importantly, lack of any actual means of following the team's games.

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