It's been basically a nightmare start in the final group stage match of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup for the United States, and they're very lucky the situation isn't worse. After 15 minutes, they trail Sweden 1-0, but their mistakes should have led to a situation that is much worse than the one they're in now. Thanks to some heroics by Hope Solo and some questionable refereeing, The USWNT are only down one goal, and they're still playing with 11 players.
The first signs of disaster for the US women came 10 minutes in, when striker Lotta Schelin was sent through on the United States' goal. It looked like a goal was inevitable, but Schelin, whose finishing has been poor in this tournament, hit the ball in the reach of Hope Solo. The US keeper extended her right leg and made a great kick save, keeping the score level.
They would fall behind soon, though, when Amy LePeilbet hauled down Schelin in the penalty area five minutes later. LePeilbet was the last woman in defense and it appeared to be a denial of a clear goal scoring opportunity, but the referee went with an...interesting interpretation of the rules and declined to show a red card to LePeilbet. Lisa Dahlkvist stepped up and converted, and Sweden have a 1-0 lead.