Sweden nips Brazil, 2-1, advances to semifinals

Free kick by Andersson in 53rd minute stands up

October 02, 2003|By Philip Hersh | Philip Hersh,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

FOXBORO, Mass. - Sweden came into the Women's World Cup considered a title threat but was run off the field by the United States in the first half of its opening match.

Aside from those 45 minutes, when the Swedes fell behind 2-0 in a 3-1 loss, they have lived up to expectations.

By beating 1999 bronze medalist Brazil, 2-1, in a quarterfinal yesterday at Gillette Stadium, the Swedes moved into the semifinals against the winner of today's China-Canada match in Portland, Ore.

"The pressure around the [first] match and the way the U.S. started gave us a shock," said Swedish coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors. "Now we will do everything to meet the United States in the final."

With its regular goalkeeper, Caroline Joensson, held out of the match because she took an analgesic that might have contained a banned drug, the Swedes saw their early 1-0 lead disappear when backup goalie Sofia Lundgren, 21, committed a foul in the penalty area.

Brazil's Marta, 17, who was fouled, converted the penalty kick just before halftime, but Sweden's Malin Andersson scored what would be the game-winner eight minutes into the second half on a 28-yard free kick that floated over Brazil's goalkeeper, Andreia.

"It was a very physical game, very tough on our young players," said Brazil coach Paolo Goncalves, whose team's average age is 22.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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