July 10, 2011
Sweden powers past Australia into semis
By Sports Network
AUGSBURG, Germany - A goal and an assist from Lotta Schelin and Therese Sjogran propelled Sweden into the semifinals of the Women's World Cup on Sunday with a 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Australia.
Sweden won all three of its matches in the group stage by one goal, and they came out attacking with Sjogran opening the scoring after 10 minutes as Schelin set up the tally.
Sjogran then turned provider on the second goal in the 16th minute for Lisa Dahlkvist before Australia pulled a goal back five minutes before halftime through Ellyse Perry.
But a mistake in the Australia defense shortly after halftime handed Schelin a goal that helps Sweden reach the semifinals for the third time, where they will face Japan on Wednesday.
Schelin was a constant problem for the Australia defense and she got things started in the 10th minute by taking a pass on the left wing, beating a defender and driving toward the end line. She pulled the ball back to Sjogran, who beat goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri with a low shot at the near post.
The Matildas continued to struggle in the back and they gave away another goal six minutes later with Sjogran sending a left-wing cross to the front of the net for an open Dahlkvist to head home from six yards for her third goal of the tournament.
Australia had little success offensively in the first half, but they pulled a big goal back five minutes before the break when a corner kick was played to Perry near the edge of the penalty area. She took a touch and then curled a perfect shot into the upper-left corner of the net, giving Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl no chance.
However, Australia's mistakes in defense came to the surface again in the 52nd minute as Kim Carroll tried to play a ball back to Barbieri, only for Schelin to cut out the pass and the round the 'keeper before rolling the ball into the empty net.
From there, Sweden stayed compact in defense and limited Australia's chances, with Kyah Simon heading the ball wide from seven yards before Lisa De Vanna drew the goalkeeper off her line but failed to hit the target from a tight angle.
Australia entered Sunday's match having never reached the semifinals, and now they will have to wait four more years to try again.