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U.S. Women Defeat Sweden 1-0 in Sweden

SKELLEFTEA, Sweden (July 5, 2008) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Sweden, 1-0, on a 39th minute goal from midfielder Carli Lloyd to complete a sweep of two matches in Scandinavia.

The match was significant as it was the first-ever meeting between the two teams in Sweden and also marked the first time U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage has coached against her home country.

In a fairly even first half that featured one or two good chances for each team, Lloyd scored what would be the winning goal just six minutes before halftime.

The goal originated off a corner kick from the right side. Lloyd took it short to Lindsay Tarpley, who touched it back to her as Lloyd overlapped to the inside. The U.S. midfielder dribbled square into the penalty area, beating at least three Swedish defenders with stop-and-go moves, before gliding into the middle of the box and hitting a left-footed shot from 15 yards that skimmed off the leg of a Swedish defender and into the left corner. Wrong-footed Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl could only watch the ball spin into the net.

It was Lloyd’s seventh goal of the year and second in as many games after also scoring against Norway on July 2 in Fredrikstad during the USA’s 4-0 victory.

The U.S. almost went up just 90 seconds into the game as Abby Wambach caught the Swedes off-guard with a throw-in to Heather O’Reilly on the right side of the penalty area. O’Reilly ran onto the bouncing ball and ripped a volley off the crossbar from 10 yards out.

Sweden midfielder Therese Sjogran had two good chances toward the end of the first half, both off attacks down the right flank. In the 38th minute, the ball skipped through the penalty area to Sweden’s left midfielder, but her sliding shot was right at U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo. Four minutes later she had another chance from a similar spot, but thumped her shot into Solo’s gut again.

Sweden came out with increased energy in the first 15 minutes of the second half, pushing for an equalizer. In the 50th minute, outside back Frida Ostberg burst down the right wing and sent a cross on the ground. Sjogran took a big swing at the rolling ball and cracked her shot on frame, but Nicole Barnhart, who had come in for Solo at halftime, sprung up to tip the ball over the goal.

Things got a bit hairy for the U.S. a few minutes later as Barnhart punched a corner kick straight up in the air. The ball came down almost on the U.S. goal line, and with several players from each team hacking away at it, somehow the Americans managed to keep it from going over the goal line and cleared it out of danger.

Sweden launched several dangerous excursions down its left flank during the second half, but Barnhart cut off any cross that came her way.

Wambach also created danger down the USA’s left flank, but could not find a way past Lindahl, who was solid all afternoon for her country, cutting off several high U.S. crosses into the penalty area.

The win moves the USA’s record in 2008 to 19-0-1 with two matches left before the Olympics. The U.S. team returns home tomorrow and will re-group in Denver, Colo., on July 11 to prepare for the first of two send-off matches against Brazil leading into the Olympics Games. The U.S. team faces the Brazilians on July 13 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (2 p.m. MT on ESPN) in a match presented by Dodge before traveling to San Diego for the second leg on July 16 at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego (7 p.m. PT).

The shutout was the USA’s 13th in 20 games this year and fifth in a row.

U.S. forward Abby Wambach will head into the match against Brazil in Commerce City, Colo., with 99 career goals. One more will put her in an elite club of 100-goal scorers that features eight international players, four of them Americans: Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Michelle Akers and Tiffeny Milbrett.


Match-up:          USA vs. Norway
Competition:      International Friendly
Venue:              Norrvalla Stadium; Skelleftea, Sweden
Date:                July 5, 2008; Kickoff – 6 p.m. local / Noon ET
Attendance:       4,313   
Weather:           Cloudy, cool – 55 degrees

Scoring Summary:       
             1        2          F
USA     1        0          1
NOR    0        0          0

USA – Carli Lloyd (Lindsay Tarpley)                     39th minute.

USA: 18-Hope Solo (24-Nicole Barnhart, 46); 2-Heather Mitts (26-Rachel Buehler 46), 15-Kate Markgraf, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 17-Lori Chalupny; 9-Heather O’Reilly (10-Aly Wagner, 81), 7-Shannon Boxx, 11-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lindsay Tarpley (16-Angela Hucles, 63); 6-Natasha Kai (19-Amy Rodriguez, 81), 20-Abby Wambach.
Subs not used: 1-Briana Scurry, 8-Lauren Cheney, 13-Tobin Heath, 14-Stephanie Cox, 21-Kacey White, 22-Ali Krieger.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

SWE: 1-Hedvig Lindahl; 6-Sara Thunebro, 7-Sara Larsson (3-Stina Segerström, 18), 19-Charlotte Rholin (2-Karolina Westberg, 53), 13-Frida Östberg (4-Anna Paulson, 69); 15-Therese Sjögran, 18-Nilla Fischer, 20-Jessica Landström (17-Johanna Almgren, 75), 5-Caroline Seger (21-Lisa Dahlkvist, 69), 8-Lotta Schelin (10-Hanna Ljungberg, 60), 11-Victoria Svensson – Capt.
Subs not used: 9-Therese Lundin, 12-Kristin Hammarström, 14-Josefine Öqvist, 16-Linda Forsberg.
Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby

Statistical Summary:        
Shots: 11 / 9
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 4 / 2 
Corner Kicks: 7 / 8
Fouls: 8 / 4
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:

Referee:            Kirsi Savolainen (Finalnd)            
Asst. Referee:   Anu Jokela (Finland)                 
Asst. Referee:   Minna Niskanen (Finland)
4th Official:         Camilla Thoren (Sweden)          

Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Lori Chalupy