Top-ranked Germany rolls into quarters
GERMANY 4, SWEDEN 1
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 fifth-ranked Sweden in a Round of 16 game on Saturday in Ottawa.
“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 tournamentbest 15 goals.
Now the two-time World Cup champions will travel to Montreal, where they will face the winner of Sunday’s match between third-ranked 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 nearperfect effort to beat Germany.
“Germany is a very good team, and they deserve to advance,” Sundhage said. “We fought and we tried, but it was 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, Jakobs son 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.
The Germans improved to 18-7 all-time against Sweden. And they’ve won 12 of the past 14 meetings since defeating Sweden 2-1 in the 2003World Cup championship game.
CHINA 1, CAMEROON 0: Wang Shanshan scored early, and China held on to stay alive at the Women’s World Cup with a knockout-round victory over upstart Cameroon in Edmonton.
China, ranked No. 16 in the world, will play the winner of Monday night’s game between the United States and Colombia. Anumber of players from the U.S. team watched the match at Commonwealth Stadium.
China was playing without Coach Hao Wei on the sidelines after he was sent off from the team’s final group stage match against New Zealand.
Cameroon, No. 53, was the lowest ranked of the 16 teams that advanced to the elimination round. Many players remained onthe field sobbing after the final whistle.
China advanced to the knockout stage by finishing second to host Canada in Group A. After falling 1-0 in the opener to the Canadians, China beat the Netherlands and played to a 2-2 draw with New Zealand.
Aref ruled Hao interfered with New Zealand’s Ria Percival on the sideline as she attempted to throw in the ball and ejected him from the match. Because of the ejection, Hao had to part from his team once they arrived at the stadium. He watched from the stands.
Assistant Chang Weiwei stood in for Hao on the sidelines.
Wang Shanshan scored in the 12th minute, taking a feed from Li Donga off a corner kick and popping the ball past Cameroon goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom.