Sweden routed the US women’s national team 3-0 in their Tokyo 2020 Olympic opener, with Stina Blackstenius scoring twice and Lina Hurtig adding further pain against the pre-tournament favorites.

The US headed into this year’s delayed Games boasting much of the squad which claimed World Cup glory in France in 2019, with the likes of Alex Morgan starting against Sweden and social justice soccer queen Megan Rapinoe on the substitutes’ bench.

The Americans were also out for revenge after being knocked out by the Swedes on penalties in the quarter-finals of the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

But in front of empty stands at the Tokyo Stadium, it was the Swedes who ran riot in the opening game in Group G.

Blackstenius opened the scoring in the 25th minute when she glanced a header across goal and into the net from a Sofia Jakobsson cross.

The 25-year-old forward was on target again in the 54th minute when the US failed to deal with a corner, allowing Amanda Ilestedt to head onto the post before Blackstenius turned in the rebound.

The rout was complete when Juventus star Hurtig headed home a cross from Hanna Glas inside the last 20 minutes.

The US struck the post through Rose Lavelle and Christen Press, but it was a resounding win for the Swedes which snapped a remarkable 44-game unbeaten run for their American rivals.

Online, fans and pundits were shocked by the ease with which four-time gold medalists the US had been swept aside.

Some suggested the Swedes had taught their widely vaunted rivals a “football lesson” as others said Vlatko Andonovski’s team had been “torn apart.”

The meeting had been billed as a “grudge match” by some in the US press beforehand, given that the Americans had been dumped out of the Games five years ago in a shootout by the Swedes – following a 1-1 draw in which Blackstenius had also scored.

The Swedes and US are familiar foes at major tournaments, having met six times at past World Cups and playing out a third encounter at the Olympics with their match in Tokyo.

The US will now need to bounce back in their second group game against New Zealand on July 24, before taking on Australia in their final group match on Tuesday.

Sweden roll on to a meeting with Australia on Saturday before facing the Kiwis on July 27. (RT)