SINSHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 02: Lauren Cheney (R) of USA outjumps Liana Salazar of Colombia during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Group C match between USA and Colombia at the Fifa Womens World Cup Stadium on July 2, 2011 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

FIFA Women's World Cup 2011, USA Vs. Sweden: USWNT Lose 2-1, Will Face Brazil In Quarterfinals

After a disappointing performance and a loss, the United States are headed for a quarterfinal date with Group D winners Brazil, while Sweden will take on Australia.

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FIFA Women's World Cup 2011, USA Vs. Sweden: Swedes Win Game, Group C; USWNT Faces Brazil In Quarterfinals

For the first time in the history of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the United States has lost a game in the group stages. Knowing that one of Sweden's stars, Caroline Seger was out and that they only needed a draw to win, the USWNT were still not able to get a result good enough to win the group as they lost by a final score of 2-1, setting up a quarterfinal matchup against Brazil.

Some might dismiss Sweden's second goal, which came off of a deflection as pure luck, but any dismissal of anything Sweden did as luck requires a very short memory. In the 15th minute of the game, Amy LePeilbet hauled down Lotta Schelin in the penalty area, for which a penalty was given. LePeilbet was the last defender and denied a clear goal scoring opportunity, but was not shown a red card. Lisa Dahlkvist converted the penalty kick, but from the point at which LePeilbet was not shown red, the USWNT was playing with house money.

In the 35th minute, Rachel Buehler committed a bad foul 25 yards away from goal. The ensuing free kick, taken by Nilla Fischer, deflected off LePeilbet and went the opposite way of goalkeeper Hope Solo into the back of the net. At that point, it was obvious that the United States had a serious mountain to climb.

Abby Wambach broke her long goal-scoring drought late with a headed/shouldered goal into the top corner, but her effort wasn't enough to get the USWNT back into the game. They now must face Brazil in the quarterfinals, in a game that will take place on Sunday.


USA Vs. Sweden, 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup: Halftime, USWNT Trail By Two Goals

Well, it seems that half would constitute a nightmare for the United States. They've been absolutely dreadful thus far, and they're currently trailing Sweden 2-0. With how poorly the United States has played, especially in defense, it's hard to say that the slight underdogs don't deserve their lead. At present, the Swedes are going to win the group, while the United States appear to be headed for second place and a match against Brazil.

Sweden took the lead on a penalty kick after Amy LePeilbet hauled down Lotta Schelin in the penalty area 15 minutes into the game, but that wasn't even Sweden's first clear-cut scoring opportunity of the match. Five minutes earlier, Schelin was through on goal and had a shot saved by Hope Solo.

The second goal came in the 35th minute, thanks to a Nilla Fischer free kick goal and a bit of luck. Trying to shoot away from the U.S. wall, Fischer hit LePeilbet, who was standing to the right of the wall, and the ball deflected into the back of the net on the opposite side from the one Solo jumped to defend. It was unlucky for the US, but the free kick itself wasn't as Rachel Buehler gave it away with a bad foul.

The USWNT is seriously missing Heather O'Reilly, while re-introducing Shannon Boxx hasn't had the desired effect. Pia Sundhage will likely have to make some kind of changes at halftime.


USA Vs. Sweden, 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup: Amy LePeilbet Gives Away Penalty, Sweden Leads

It's been basically a nightmare start in the final group stage match of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup for the United States, and they're very lucky the situation isn't worse. After 15 minutes, they trail Sweden 1-0, but their mistakes should have led to a situation that is much worse than the one they're in now. Thanks to some heroics by Hope Solo and some questionable refereeing, The USWNT are only down one goal, and they're still playing with 11 players.

The first signs of disaster for the US women came 10 minutes in, when striker Lotta Schelin was sent through on the United States' goal. It looked like a goal was inevitable, but Schelin, whose finishing has been poor in this tournament, hit the ball in the reach of Hope Solo. The US keeper extended her right leg and made a great kick save, keeping the score level.

They would fall behind soon, though, when Amy LePeilbet hauled down Schelin in the penalty area five minutes later. LePeilbet was the last woman in defense and it appeared to be a denial of a clear goal scoring opportunity, but the referee went with an...interesting interpretation of the rules and declined to show a red card to LePeilbet. Lisa Dahlkvist stepped up and converted, and Sweden have a 1-0 lead.


USA Vs. Sweden, 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup: Lineups, Wambach Stays In But O'Reilly Sits

Sorry, legions of Alex Morgan fans. When Abby Wambach sat out a couple of days of training, it looked like the people were finally going to get to see their golden girl in the starting lineup, but Wambach is apparently fit to start and will start the United States' match against Sweden today. This, of course, is not a bad thing as Wambach is one of the best center forwards in the history of the women's game, but it's a slight disappointment for those who were looking forward to a glimpse into the future. Also questionable before this game was Heather O'Reilly, and she will sit. Megan Rapinoe takes her place. Here are the lineups.

United States lineup: Solo; Rampone, Buehler, LePeilbet, Krieger, Boxx, Lloyd, Cheney, Rapinoe, Wambach, Rodriguez

Sweden lineup: Lindah; Rohlin, Svensson, Thunebro, Larsson, Schelin, Qvist, Sjogran, Forsberg, Dahlkvist, Fischer

Sweden has a couple of big players missing from their lineup. Jessica Landstrom has been benched, while Caroline Seger has been suspended through yellow card accumulation. The game kicks off at 2:30 pm ET, and the United States needs just a draw to win the group.


FIFA Women's World Cup 2011, USA Vs. Sweden: U.S. Women Fight For First In Group C

Coming into the final game of the group stages of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, the United States women are in the best position they could possibly be in. They have won both of their first two matches and they've done it in such a way that they have the best goal differential in the group. So, they control their own destiny, but they both have quite a bit of work to do on Wednesday against Sweden.

Both Sweden and the United States will be missing some key players, making the match a tough one to predict. The biggest miss for Sweden will be Caroline Seger, who is suspended through yellow card accumulation. She's been Sweden's most creative player so far, and she will be sorely missed. The United States will probably be missing both Abby Wambach and Heather O'Reilly due to injury, but neither is seriously injured and will be sat purely for precautionary reasons. Megan Rapinoe should replace O'Reilly, while Alex Morgan should replace Wambach.

Despite their great talent up top, Sweden only have two goals in the tournament in their first two games. Star strikers Jessica Landstrom and Lotta Schelin haven't been great, and team newcomer Linda Forsberg is yet to justify her selection. With these players out of form and Seger suspended, Josefine Oqvist might get a look.

The U.S. won't be favored as heavily as they would have been with Wambach and O'Reilly in the lineup, but it would be surprising if they didn't get the draw they need to win the group. Sweden's offense hasn't been great, and it would be surprising if they put up multiple goals on the talented and well-organized USWNT back line.

The other match in the group is between Colombia and North Korea, and is purely for pride. Both Sweden and the United States have clinched quarterfinal berths and are simply fighting for first place.

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