The goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team has is under criticism for comments she made after her team was defeated by Sweden in the Olympic quarter-finals.
Hope Solo reacted sharply to the loss in a penalty shoot-out, resulting in the earliest exit for a U.S. team since women’s soccer became an Olympic sport in 1996, the Daily Mail reported.
“We lost to a bunch of cowards. The better team did not win,” Solo said, according to the Mail.
Solo was pointing to Sweden’s style of play, which was defensive.
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The game was tied 1-1 after the regulation 90 minutes and 30 minutes of extra time. Sweden won 4-3 in the shoot-out.
“I thought we played a courageous game. I thought we had many opportunities on goal,” Solo added, according to the Boston Globe. “I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down. I'm very proud of this team.”
Solo tried to delay the last Swedish penalty taker by changing her gloves, but this did not have the desired effect.
The U.S. team was the defending Olympic champions and also won the World Cup in 2015.
“I feel sick. Heartbroken for my team,” Lauren Holiday, a former U.S. soccer player, tweeted, the Mail reported.
“Sat in my shower and cried real tears after watching the women's soccer team lose to Sweden,” wrote a fan.
“Olympics cancelled,” added another.
Most fans seemed equally unhappy at Solo’s response to the loss.
“If Hope Solo was not American we would ram the criticism down her neck. It's not acceptable,” wrote a commenter on Twitter.
“Just read hope solo's comments. I understand being upset you lost and are out, but how about showing some class?” another fan added.
Others were already looking forward to the 2020 games, when they believe the U.S. team will bounce back.
“glad I don't have to root for Hope Solo in the Olympics anymore,” another message on social media read.
Solo’s remarks did not appear to bother Swedish team coach Pia Sundhage.
“It’s OK to be a coward if you win,” she said, according to the Globe.