US SoccerUS Soccer
  • DateWednesday, March 7, 2012
  • VenueEstadio Bela Vista; Parchal, Portugal
  • Kickoff6:00 AM
  • Attendance400

U.S. Women's National Team Routs Sweden 4-0 to Take Third Place at 2012 Algarve Cup

  • Forward Alex Morgan Scores First Career WNT Hat Trick
  • Wambach Adds Her 134th Career International Goal
  • U.S. Team’s Next International Match Will be April 1 Against Japan in Sendai, Live on ESPN2 and ESPN3 at 6:30 a.m. ET

PARCHAL, Portugal (March 7, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Team scored three times in the first half on the way to a resounding 4-0 victory against Sweden in the third-place match of the 2012 Algarve Cup. Forward Alex Morgan scored her first career hat trick while fellow striker Abby Wambach added one goal, which was her 134th in a U.S. uniform.

“I am very happy about the four goals we scored and the way we played at times and the way we created chances,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “Abby’s goal is very important because we should do well on set pieces and Alex Morgan, she can create chances from nothing sometimes.”

The USA will next return to action with two matches in Japan, taking on the hosts on April 1 from Sendai in a game that can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN3 at 6:30 a.m. ET. The U.S. team will then travel south to Chiba to meet Brazil in a game that will be broadcast at 7 a.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN3.

Heading into the Sweden match, the U.S. Women were coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss to Japan in their final group match that not only sent them to the third place game, but saw the USA fail to convert its scoring chances. That would not be the case against the world’s fifth-ranked Swedes as the USA fired 13 shots, putting 11 on goal, and scored less than five minutes into the game.

The first goal came after Heather O’Reilly received a ball on the right wing inside her own half and cut into the middle before playing a pass on the ground up the field to Wambach. The ball rolled past Wambach and then it was all Morgan. Although a Swedish defender had several steps on Morgan, the U.S. forward raced past her to latch onto the ball. The defender tried to slide but instead toe-poked the ball inside as she fell. Morgan then ran past another Swedish defender, who had taken a poor defensive angle, and found herself only with goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl to beat.

The Swedish net-minder clearly did not expect Morgan to be in that position with the ball and was caught off her line. Morgan then calmly chipped her shot over the ’keeper and into the left corner of the net from just outside the penalty area on the right side.

The second goal came in the 33rd minute after Carli Lloyd had sent a free kick into the Sweden penalty area from about 35 yards out. The ball was cleared over the left sideline and Kelley O’Hara took the throw-in to Wambach, who touched the ball back to Tobin Heath. Heath, who got the start at left midfield, looked up and slipped a pass into the left side of the penalty box for the cutting Morgan.

The U.S. forward sprinted onto the ball and with a touch, burst past a defender. It seemed at first that the touch had taken her too deep into the penalty area as she was right on the end line but just a few yards from Lindahl when she squared up to shoot. Lindahl had come about five yards outside of the post to cut down the angle, giving Morgan only a sliver of space in which to shoot. Morgan’s well-struck shot somehow squeezed past Lindahl to her right, deflected off her right palm and just inside the left post. The Swedish ’keeper got just enough of the ball to put some spin on it, causing it to roll behind her and over the line.

The USA finished off the first half by scoring three minutes later off a beautifully struck free kick from Christie Rampone, who hit a few long set plays on the day that produced danger. This one was driven from the center of the field into the center of the penalty box with the perfect height and pace. Wambach was making a run across the six-yard box and got her head on the ball, sending it straight into the lower left corner.

Sundhage gave the start in goal to Nicole Barnhart, who played splendidly in her first action of the tournament, keeping an extremely tidy penalty area. Sweden fired eight shots, seven on goal, and most from star forward Lotta Schelin, but Barnhart saved them all. She also solidly caught several corner kicks and Sweden crosses to earn the shutout.

Schelin was by far the most dangerous player for Sweden, but her strong runs up the middle were well handled by Rampone and Rachel Buehler, who did a great job putting pressure on the lanky striker even when she did get in a good position to shoot.

Sweden did manage a few dangerous counterattacks, a few coming off giveaways by the U.S. in midfield, but the backs managed to run everything down.

O’Reilly had a fine game for the USA at right midfield as the Americans possessed the ball and changed the point-of-attack pace at a much higher level than in the Japan match. O’Reilly was the recipient of several of these weak-side passes and sent in several searching crosses while also earning a few corner kicks.

Before Morgan completed her hat trick, the USA had a few chances to add a fourth goal. Just a few minutes into the second half, O’Reilly hit a perfect cross from the right wing that found Morgan at the far post. She was unmarked, but instead of heading on goal, sent it back into the middle and the ball was cleared after a scramble.

In the 53rd minute, Heath played a fantastic first-time touch out of the air to guide Morgan into the left side of the penalty area. Morgan shot from a sharp angle again, but this time the ball skipped wide right of the goal.

In the 58th minute, O’Reilly sent a corner kick from the right side all the way to the far post where Shannon Boxx got a solid head on the ball, sending it on frame. A Swedish defender managed to head to ball off the line and Boxx got shaken up on the play, but rose to finish the match.

In the 69th minute, Amy Rodriguez, who had come on 13 minutes earlier, got around the defense on the left side and cut the ball back for Lloyd but she shot wide right from 15 yards.

Morgan completed her hat trick in the 72nd minute on a magnificent pass from Lauren Cheney, who had come into the match just moments earlier in the center midfield. Cheney jabbed her right foot into the ground and sent a delicate chip over the back line to Morgan, who once again saw Lindahl off her line and lobbed the Swedish ’keeper from 12 yards out. Morgan led the USA in scoring during the tournament with five goals, upping her career total to 21 in 36 international matches.

The U.S. team will now have several weeks off before regrouping at the end of March for the trip to Japan and the two huge matches against the world’s third- and fourth-ranked teams.

Additional Match Notes:

  • Germany took the Algarve Cup title – its second – with a dramatic 4-3 victory against Japan. With the score tied 2-2 in the final minutes, the Germans converted a penalty kick in the 89th minute. Japan equalized a minute later and then the Germans scored in stoppage time to win it. 
  • The Algarve Cup will have a major impact on the next FIFA Women’s World Rankings that come out March 16. Third-ranked Japan beat the top-ranked USA but lost to second-ranked Germany, which also beat fifth-ranked Sweden, as did the USA. Stay tuned.
  • The U.S. victory broke a streak of three straight non-wins against the Swedes. The USA lost 2-1 in January of 2011 at the Four Nations Tournament in China, fell 2-1 in group play at the Women’s World Cup and tied 1-1 in the final match of 2011 in Glendale, Ariz.
  • The USA out-played Sweden in all three matches in 2011 but got the finishes it needed on Wednesday, striking all but two of its 13 shots on goal. 
  • The 4-0 result marked the USA’s largest margin of victory ever over Sweden. The Americans had won five games previously by 3-0 scores. 
  • In the other placement matches, the Republic of Ireland beat Hungary, 2-1 for 11th place, China edged host Portugal 1-0 for ninth, Norway defeated Wales 3-0 for seventh and Denmark defeated Iceland 3-1 for fifth.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden
Date: March 7, 2012
Competition: 2012 Algarve Cup – Third-Place Match
Venue: Estadio Municipal Bela Vista; Parchal, Portugal
Kickoff: 11 a.m. Local / 6 a.m. ET
Attendance: 400 
Weather: 63 degrees, sunny, windy

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                            3          1          4
SWE                            0          0          0

USA – Alex Morgan (Heather O’Reilly)                     4th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath)                           33
USA – Abby Wambach (Christie Rampone)              36
USA – Alex Morgan (Lauren Cheney)                       72

USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 6-Amy LePeilbet, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 19-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 9-Heather O’Reilly (15-Megan Rapinoe, 71), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd (12-Lauren Cheney, 71), 17-Tobin Heath (8-Amy Rodriguez, 56); 13-Alex Morgan, 20-Abby Wambach (11-Sydney Leroux, 82)
Subs not used: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 14-Stephanie Cox, 16-Lori Lindsey, 22-Whitney Engen
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

SWE: 1-Hedvig Lindahl; 2-Charlotte Rohlin (capt.), 2-Stina Segerstrom (7-Linda Sembrant, 46), 6-Sara Thunebro, 13-Emma Berglund (20-Marie Hammaström, 85); 5-Caroline Seger, 11-Antonia Göransson (10-Sofia Jakobsson, 63), 14-Johanna Almgren (18-Nilla Fischer, 46), 15-Therese Sjögran (19-Susanne Moberg, 88), 17-Lisa Dahlkvist; 8-Lotta Schelin (9-Jessica Landstrom)
Subs not used: 4-Annica Svensson, 12-Kristin Hammarstrom, 16-Madelaine Edlund, 21-Sofia Lundgren
Head coach: Thomas Dennerby

Statistical Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 13 / 8
Shots on Goal: 11 / 7
Saves: 7 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 5 / 9
Offside: 2 / 4

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Morag Pirie (SCO)
Assistant Referee: Sian Massey (ENG)
Assistant Referee: Eveline Bolli (SUI)
4th Official: Nami Sato (JPN)

Bud Light Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

U.S. WNT Meets Sweden in 2012 Algarve Cup's Third-Place Match

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden
Algarve Cup – Third-Place Game
Estadio Municipal Bela Vista; Parchal, Portugal
March 6, 2012

USA FACES SWEDEN FOR THIRD PLACE AT ALGARVE CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Team will be looking to rebound from Monday’s loss to Japan when it faces Sweden on Wednesday, March 7, in the third-place game of the 2012 Algarve Cup. The USA-Sweden clash kicks off at 6 a.m. ET at Estadio Municipal Bela Vista in Parchal, Portugal. Fans can follow the game via’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. Both the USA and Sweden were leading their respective groups heading into their final match and needed either a win or a draw to reach the title game, but the USA dropped a 1-0 decision to Group B winner Japan on Monday, while Sweden was routed 4-0 by Group A winner Germany.

FLASHBACK TO ’98: This marks the USA’s first appearance in the third-place match of this tournament since the 1998 Algarve Cup when it defeated – that’s right – Sweden. The USA won 3-1 that day on goals from three players you might have heard of – Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain and Kristine Lilly. Prior to this year, the USA had made nine consecutive Algarve Cup Finals, a remarkable and unprecedented feat considering the high level of competition at this annual tournament. This is the third straight year that Sweden is playing in the third-place game after winning the 2009 Algarve Cup over the U.S. in a shootout.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Hope Solo, 18-Nicole Barnhart
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 14-Stephanie Cox, 19-Rachel Buehler, 22-Whitney Engen
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Lori Lindsey, 17-Tobin Heath
FORWARDS (4): 11-Sydney Leroux, 12-Lauren Cheney, 13-Alex Morgan, 20-Abby Wambach


  • U.S. forward Abby Wambach, who recently surpassed three-time World Cup goalkeeper Briana Scurry for 10th all-time in career caps, earned her 175th career cap during Monday’s Algarve Cup game against Japan. 
  • Wambach has 17 career goals in the Algarve Cup, the most among all USA players. Her goal against Norway on March 2 was the 133rd goal of her career. Wambach is two goals behind Portugal’s Carla Couto for the all-time tournament lead.


  • The U.S. has faced Sweden 31 previous times, ranking as the fourth-most games against an opponent behind Canada (49), Norway (47) and China (45).
  • The U.S.-Sweden series started with a 2-1 U.S. loss to Sweden on July 9, 1987, in Blaine, Minn., but the U.S. posted a 10-0-3 record in its next 13 matches through 2000.
  • In the 1998 Algarve Cup, when the U.S. topped Sweden 3-1 in the third-place game, Sweden netted the game’s first goal, but the USA tallied three unanswered from Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain on a penalty kick and Kristine Lilly in the closing minutes.
  • In the 2009 Algarve Cup championship, Sweden edged the U.S. 4-3 in a shootout after both sides played to a 1-1 draw through regulation. Sweden was on the verge of winning the match in regulation with Lotta Schelin’s 18th-minute goal, but U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx scored a 90th-minute equalizer to push for the shootout. In a wild shootout, Sweden scored on its first three attempts but could not close out the U.S. with its next three attempts. Eventually on the seventh kick, Stina Segerstrom converted the game-winner.
  • The last time the U.S. and Sweden met, Tobin Heath scored on a rebound in the 81rst minute as the USA overcame a late deficit for a 1-1 draw on Nov. 19, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. The U.S. clearly outplayed Sweden, holding a 19-7 shots advantage.
  • The USA played Sweden three times in 2011 and failed to win. The USA lost 2-1 at the Four Nations Tournament in China in January, fell 2-1 during group play at the Women’s World Cup and then got the draw in Arizona.

TOP-RANKED TEAMS REMAIN: Four of the top five FIFA-ranked teams are participating in this year’s Algarve Cup, and all four are represented in Wednesday’s championship and third-place matches. No. 1 USA faces No. 5 Sweden in the third-place game and No. 2 Germany meets No. 3 Japan in the title game. Fourth-ranked Brazil was not a participant in the Algarve Cup.

U.S. WNT 2012 Algarve Cup Schedule



Time (ET)



Feb. 29


5-0 W


Estadio Municipal; Lagos, Portugal

March 2


2-1 W


Estadio Municipal; Lagos, Portugal

March 5


0-1 L


Estadio Algarve; Faro, Portugal

March 7

Sweden (3rd place)

6 a.m.


Estadio Municipal Bela Vista; Parchal, Portugal

Final 2012 Algarve Cup Group B Standings

Group B



















United States



























ALGARVE CUP TOURNAMENT FORMAT: Since the expansion to 12 teams in 2002, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The teams in Group A and B compete for the title. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B play for third place, while the third-place finishers play for fifth. The Group C teams compete for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C plays the best fourth-place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C plays the worst fourth place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C play each other for 11th place. Following are the matchups for the placement matches:

11th-Place Match: Hungary vs. Rep. Ireland - Loulé
9th-Place Match: Portugal vs. China Faro - Algarve Stadium
7th-Place Match: Wales vs. Norway - Quarteira
5th-Place Match: Iceland vs. Denmark - Ferreiras
3rd-Place Match: Sweden vs. USA - Parchal
Championship: Germany vs. Japan Faro - Algarve Stadium

GROUP A RECAP: Germany proved it was the top team in Group A, dominating Sweden with a 4-0 victory on Monday. Celia Okoyino da Mbabi led the way for Germany with a hat trick by the 65th minute for a 3-0 Germany lead. Alexandra Popp added a goal in second-half stoppage time to set the stage for a Germany-Japan Algarve Cup title match. Sweden’s loss puts the team in the third-place match against the United States. In the other Group A game, Iceland’s Fanndís Friðriksdóttir scored an 80th-minute goal for a 1-0 victory against China.

GROUP B RECAP: Japan, playing in only its second Algarve Cup, won Group B with a 1-0 victory against the U.S. on Megumi Takase’s 84th-minute header goal. The USA entered Monday’s match needing a win or a draw to advance to the title game because of its goal differential advantage, but Japan topped the U.S. for the first time ever in regulation and the second straight time overall, going back to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. In the other Group A match, Denmark’s Johanna Rasmussen scored a seventh-minute goal to defeat Norway 1-0. Denmark had been outscored 7-0 in the previous two matches, including a 5-0 loss to the U.S. to open its Algarve Cup.

GROUP C RECAP: Wales took the group with a 2-1 victory against Hungary. Helen Lander had both goals in the 10th and 50th minutes. Hungary’s Fanny Vago cut the deficit to one goal, but Wales hung on the rest of the way to wrap up Group C play with a 2-0-1 record and seven points. Portugal settled for second in the group with a 2-1 win against Ireland on Monday, garnering six points in the group stage. Ana Borges had both Portugal goals, in the seventh and 74th minutes.

Swedish Football Association
Founded: 1904 (Joined FIFA in 1904)
Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby
FIFA World Ranking: 5
Algarve Cup Championships: 3 (1995, 2001, 2009)
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: Second place (2003)
Best Olympics Finish: Fourth place (2004)

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Hedvig Lindahl (Kristianstads DFF), 12-Kristin Hammarström (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 21-Sofia Lundgren (Linköpings FC)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Charlotte Rohlin (Linköpings FC), 3-Stina Segerstrom (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 4-Annica Svensson (Tyresö FF), 6-Sara Thunebro (FFC Frankfurt, GER), 7-Linda Sembrant (Tyresö FF), 12-Emma Berglund (Umeå IK)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 5-Caroline Seger (Tyresö FF), 10-Sofia Jakobsson (FC Rossiyanka, RUS), 11-Antonia Göransson (FFC Turbine Potsdam, GER), 14-Johanna Almgren (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 15-Therese Sjögran (FC Malmö), 17-Lisa Dahlkvist (Tyresö FF), 18-Nilla Fischer (Linköpings FC), 20-Marie Hammaström (KIF Örebro DFF)
FORWARDS (4): 8-Lotta Schelin (Olympique Lyonais, FRA), 9-Jessica Landstrom (FFC Frankfurt, GER), 16-Madelaine Edlund (Tyresö FF), 19-Susanne Moberg (Kristianstads DFF)


  • Midfielder Therese Sjogran is Sweden’s most-capped player with 171 international appearances. She played for New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC during the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer season.
  • Lotta Schelin, who has scored 40 goals for Sweden over 95 appearances, first debuted for the senior team during the 2006 Algarve Cup en route to a third-place finish. That year she was awarded the Diamond Ball as Sweden’s best female player, and was the Damallsvenskan Forward of the Year.
  • Jessica Landstrom (Sky Blue FC), Caroline Seger (Philadelphia Independence) and Therese Sjögran (Sky Blue FC) all played in the WPS.
  • Landstrom and Sara Thunebro played with the currently injured Ali Krieger on FFC Frankfurt in Germany.

On the field for USA:
March 5, 2012 – Estadio Algarve – Faro, Portugal – Algarve Cup
Japan 1 Megumi Takase 86

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (19-Rachel Buehler, 46), 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly (8-Amy Rodriguez, 58), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 17-Tobin Heath (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46); 13-Alex Morgan (11-Sydney Leroux, 77), 20-Abby Wambach (12-Lauren Cheney, 65)
Subs not used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 16-Lori Lindsey, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 22-Whitney Engen
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

NOR: 12-Caroline Knutsen; 2-Madeleine Gisk, 5-Toril Akerhaugen, 7-Trine Rønning, 14-Marita Skammelsrud; 4-Ingvild Stensland (capt.), (15-Nora Holstad Berge, 30), 6-Maren Mjelde, 13-Gry Tofte Ims (17-Ingrid Mo Wold, 80); 9-Isabell Herlovsen (19-Emilie Havvi, 83), 10-Lindy Melissa Wiik (20-Caroline Hansen, 65), 18-Cecilie Pedersen (16-Elise Thorsnes, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Ingrid Hjelmseth, 3-Kristine Hegland, 8-Ingvild Isaksen, 11-Leni Larsen Kaurin, 21-Christine Nilsen
Head coach: Eli Landsem

Vs. Sweden for the USA:
Nov. 19, 2011 – University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Ariz.
USA 1 Tobin Heath 81
Sweden 1 Sofia Jakobsson 28

USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 11-Ali Krieger (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 19-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (14-Stephanie Cox, 74); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 12-Lauren Cheney; 20-Abby Wambach (13-Alex Morgan, 74)
Subs not used: 6-Amy LePeilbet, 16-Lori Lindsey, 21-Jill Loyden
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

SWE: 12-Kristin Hammarström; 2-Emma Berglund, 3-Linda Sembrant, 4-Annica Svensson, 6-Sara Thunebro; 17-Lisa Dahlkvist, 18-Nilla Fischer (capt.), 14-Johanna Almgren (22-Louise Fors, 61); 10-Sofia Jakobsson (20-Susanne Moberg, 87), 9-Jessica Landström (16-Madelaine Edlund, 75), 8-Lotta Schelin
Subs not used: 1-Hedvig Lindahl, 5-Marina Pettersson Engström, 7-Sara Larsson, 13-Emmelie Konradsson, 19-Jessica Samuelsson
Head coach: Thomas Dennerby

WNT vs Sweden Highlights March 7 2012

The U.S. WNT defeated Sweden 4-0 on a hat trick from Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach's 134th career goal to take third place in the 2012 Algarve Cup.

WNT vs Sweden Reaction March 7 2012

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage, hat trick hero Alex Morgan, team captain Christie Rampone and Carli Lloyd talk about the USA's 4-0 victory against Sweden in the third-place match of the 2012 Algarve Cup.

WNT vs Japan Highlights March 5 2012

The U.S. Women's National Team gave up an 84th minute goal on a corner kick and fell to Japan 1-0 in its final Group B match at the 2012 Algarve Cup.