Women's World Cup Recap - Sweden vs. Colombia|
(Tuesday, June 28, 2011)
From The Sports Network
Final Score: Sweden 1, Colombia 0
Leverkusen, Germany (Sports Network) - Sweden won its opening match of a World
Cup for the first time in six attempts Tuesday, as Jessica Landstrom scored in
the 57th minute of a 1-0 win over Colombia in Group C play at BayArena.
Sweden had four defeats and a draw in its previous five opening matches at the
women's event, and missed numerous opportunities against first-time qualifier
Colombia before finally scoring the lone goal.
The Swedes failed to advance past group play for the first time four years ago
in China but are now in position for a return trip to the quarterfinals - even
though a more decisive result was expected against Colombia.
"Yes, we could have won by a goal or two more, but I shouldn't be too fussy -
the important thing is that we secured three points," said Sweden coach Thomas
Colombia had the first chance on goal inside three minutes, but Daniela Monoya
failed to test Sweden goalie Hedvig Lindahl with the long-range shot. For the
remainder of the half, Sweden dominated - but failed to score.
Swedish striker Lotta Schelin responded with a chance in the third minute, but
although she slipped a shot past Colombia goalie Sandra Sepulveda, captain and
defender Natalia Gaitan slid in to clear the ball off the line.
Schelin forced a save from Sepulveda in the 10th, and Colombia's defense still
had to clear the deflection out of the six-yard box.
The Swedes best chance came in the 13th when Schelin drove into the left side
of the box and dropped a pass into the middle to Landstrom, who lifted an open
seven-yard shot over the crossbar.
Sweden's chances were limited over the remainder of the half, but Sepulveda
was forced to charge off her line and clear a ball just outside the area to
prevent a one-on-one against Schelin in the latter stages.
Schelin continued to lead Sweden's offense after halftime, and she came within
inches of scoring in the 47th. Schelin beat Sepulveda to the ball outside the
area this time, but flicked a shot from the edge of the box wide right.
Landstrom then wasted another good chance in the 56th when she fired wide with
just Sepulveda to beat, but Landstrom and Schelin combined in the 57th to open
Schelin won the ball from Colombia on the right wing, then drove into the area
on the right side and slipped a pass across the top of the six-yard area to an
open Landstrom, who slotted into an open net for her 17th international goal.
"I never had any doubts that I would score sooner or later in the game," said
Landstrom. "Unfortunately, I missed a few clear chances, but you have to put
that out of your mind and focus on the next one that one comes along."
Sweden settled in with the one-goal lead, and Therese Sjogran, Sofia Jakobsson
and Schelin all had decent looks on goal over the final 30 minutes, while the
Colombians failed to threaten.
Colombia, playing in its first World Cup, will try to earn its first result on
Saturday against the United States. Sweden plays North Korea on Saturday, when
it could seal a berth in the knockout stage with a win.
"Sweden came at us right from the start, and their physical approach enabled
them to get the better of us," said Colombia coach Ricardo Rozo. "But we are
still convinced that anything is possible in this group."
06/28 14:17:24 ET