July 18, 2010

US Tops Sweden 3-0

The United States Women's Team shut out Sweden 3-0 in the second of two friendlies between the two teams in Hartford. Abby Wambach scored twice to lead the US to victory after the first match ended in a tie last week.

Although the US had the better of play for most of the 1st half, it wasn't until the 33rd minute when they got on the scoreboard. A Shannon Boxx blast from 15 yards out was parried on an excellent save by Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, but Megan Rapinoe was there to knock home the rebound.

Just before halftime, the United States made it 2-0. Lori Lindsey's well placed corner kick found Abby Wambach about 10 yards out. Wambach outjumped three Swedish defenders, placing her header in the lower right, between Lindahl and another defender.

As in Tuesday's match, Sweden played a much stronger 2nd half. However, the outcome was sealed as another Wambach header found the back of the net, this time assisted on a long cross by Rachel Buehler.

Sweden's game seemed to pick up with the entry of Jessica Landstrom and Kosovare Asllani, both 2nd half substitutions. An Asllani shot came close, hitting the side netting, and another opportunity went just wide as Hope Solo was just able to tip a loose ball wide off of a rebound.

Sweden was playing without several of their top players for the match, including Lotta Schelin, who did not make the trip to the US, and Sara Larsson and Caroline Seger, both of whom were released by Coach Thomas Dennerby to play for the Philadelphia Independence on Saturday night. Both sides experimented freely with different formations and younger players.

The United States has not lost an international match since losing to Sweden in the final of the 2009 Algarve Cup, a match that went to penalties. The tie on Tuesday was the only game the US has not won over that time. The US does not have any other matches scheduled at this time, although it is highly likely that more games will be played following the end of the WPS schedule. Sweden has two World Cup qualifiers ahead in August, against Wales and the Czech Republic.