US goalkeeper Hope Solo in bitter blast at Sweden after shock exit
Controversial American goalkeeper Hope Solo has branded Sweden's football team 'a bunch of cowards' after the holders crashed out of Rio at the quarter-final stage on penalties.
Sweden recorded one of the sport's biggest shocks by beating the holders 4-3 on penalties after the two sides drew 1-1 after extra time.
Sweden's footballers celebrate the victory over US during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Quarter-finals women's football match USA vs Sweden, at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia on August 12, 2016.Eurosport
“I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down, I’m very proud of this team. And I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today, I strongly, firmly believe that."
Solo has already prompted controversy at these Games by appearing with anti-mosquito gear before the event, apparently in reference to the Zika virus that has blighted Brazil.
She has been taunted with cries of "Zika" before every goal-kick, and was at fault for two goals as the US side lost to Colombia in their final group game.
Solo's half-sister about the alleged incident in June 2014 which saw .
The charges were later dropped, but have now been reinstated following a local judge's decision in the wake of an appeal by prosecutors.
American goalkeeper Hope Solo.Eurosport
The United States, who dominated large parts of the match, have won four of the last five Olympic golds and had never not reached the Games final.
Sweden scored against the run of play after 61 minutes when Stina Blackstenius ran on to a defence-splitting pass and calmly slotted the ball past U.S. keeper Hope Solo.
Sweden will play in the semi-finals against either hosts Brazil or Australia, who face each other on Friday.
China play Germany and Canada face France in the other two last-eight ties.