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Women's Football World Cup News
Sweden 2 (Dahlkvist pen 16, Fischer 35) United States 1 (Wambach 67)
att: 23,468; at Arena Im Allerpark, Wolfsburg
Two first half goals proved to be just enough as Sweden held on to win a pulsating match and claim top spot in Group C.
The win sets Sweden up with a quarter final tie against Australia whilst the USA must take on Brazil in a repeat of their semi final four years ago.
The pattern of the game was established early on as Carli Lloyd went close for the USA with a long range effort and Sweden hit back straight away, Lotta Schelin breaking through before being denied by Hope Solo.
Sweden continued to look sharp going forward and, when Schelin was bundled over by Amy LePeilbet, they were awarded a penalty. Lisa Dahlkvist stepped up to find the corner of the net beyond the dive of Solo.
Amy Rodriguez went close to an equaliser as she lobbed the oncoming Hedvig Lindahl but her effort hit the bar. Sweden went back on the attack on won a free kick 25 yards from goal and Nilla Fischer's shot took a wicked deflection off Shannon Boxx and past a completely wrong footed solo to put her side two ahead.
Lindahl needed to make a smart save from Lloyd after Abby Wambach had nodded down to keep Sweden two goals up going into the interval.
After the break, the USA continued to do most of the pressing but found the Swedish defence in a stubborn mood with Charlotte Rohlin and Annica Svensson keeping things tight in the centre.
Nevertheless the Americans got the goal they craved midway through the second half after winning a corner. Wambach rose highest and, although the ball came off her shoulder, her effort gave Lindahl no chance and the USA were back in the match.
A draw would be enough to give USA top spot in the group and they piled on the pressure to try and get back on level terms. For the first time in the match, Sweden lost their composure and a number of panicky clearances did not help their cause.
Despite their best efforts, USA could not create any clear chances on goal until four minutes from time when good work on the left by Lauren Cheney saw her pull the ball back for Kelley O'Hara but she put her shot wide from twelve yards.
Schelin did get the ball in the net in injury time but the goal - incorrectly - was ruled out for offside. The powerful Swedish striker then nearly scored a remarkable solo goal as she danced past two challenges on the goal line but found the angle too tight.
This was to be the last chance though and Sweden were soon celebrating their first ever World Cup win over the USA, for whom the defeat was their first in a group match.
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl, Charlotte Rohlin, Linda Forsberg, Annica Svensson, Nilla Fischer (sub Linda Sembrant 88mins), Sara Thunebro, Sara Larsson, Lotta Schelin, Lisa Dahlkvist (sub Marie Hammarstrom 77mins), Josefine Oqvist, Therese Sjogran (sub Antonia Goransson 65mins).
United States: Hope Solo, Alex Krieger, Christie Rampone, Lauren Cheney, Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet (sub Stephanie Cox 59mins), Shannon Boxx, Amy Rodriguez (sub Alex Morgan 45mins), Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe (sub Kelley O'Hara 73mins).
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