Ger­mans dom­i­nate and oust Swedes

Sa­sic scores twice and Mit­tag adds goal and draws penalty to lead top-ranked team to quar­ter­fi­nals.

Los Angeles Times - - WOMEN’S WORLD CUP - GER­MANY 4, SWEDEN1

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. .

Dennis Grom­bkowski Getty Im­ages

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.


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