Germans dominate and oust Swedes
Sasic scores twice and Mittag adds goal and draws penalty to lead top-ranked team to quarterfinals.
OTTAWA — After coasting through the preliminary round of the Women’s World Cup, forwards Anja Mittag and Celia Sasic provided a dominating reminder of why Germany is deserving of its top-rank billing.
Sasic scored twice, and Mittag added a goal and drew a penalty to set up another, in helping Germany advance to the quarterfinals with a 4-1 win to eliminate fifthranked Sweden in a round of 16 game Saturday.
“Benchmark? Yes. We measure ourselves against what we know we can achieve,” German Coach Silvia Neid said through an interpreter. “It was a very important game, maybe it was a key match because we haven’t had many games of this quality yet in this World Cup.”
Germany’s only first-round blemish was a 1-1 tie against Norway. Otherwise, the Germans routed the Ivory Coast and Thailand in scoring a tournament-best 15 goals.
Now the two-time World Cup champions will travel to Montreal, where they will face the winner of Sunday’s match between thirdranked France and South Korea.
Disappointing as the finish was for Sweden, which ended the tournament without a victory, Coach Pia Sundhage acknowledged it was going to take a near-perfect effort to beat Germany.
“Germany is a very good team, and they deserve to advance,” Sundhage said. “We fought and we tried, but itwas not good enough.”
Mittag opened the scoring in the 24th minute, and then Sasic scored the next two — including one on a penalty kick— in staking Germany to a 3-0 lead by the 78th minute.
The Swedes finally countered with Linda Sembrant scoring on a header off Therese Sjogran’s free kick from outside the box in the 82nd minute. Sweden nearly cut the margin to 3-2 a minute later, when Sofia Jakobsson broke in alone. However, Jakobsson was stopped by goalie Nadine Angerer, who came out of the crease to cut the angle.
Dzsenifer Marozsan then sealed the win by scoring in the 88th minute.
Sweden had the misfortune of opening the tournament in the so- called Group of Death, alongside the United States, Australia and Nigeria. After three ties and a third-place finish, the Swedes then had to play in their third time zone in twoweeks, and face Germanyon three days’ rest.
Aware of how tired the Swedes might be, Neid said the plan was to apply the pressure from the opening minute.
“We couldn’t go into this match in a let’s-wait-and-see-what-happens attitude,” Neid said. “We wanted to deny them the feeling that it would be simple to play against Germany.”
The Germans improved to 18-7 all time against Sweden. .
CELIA SASIC of Germany scores the third goal past Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl in the 78th minute. Sasic scored twice and Germany advanced to the quarterfinals.