USA, Sweden ends in scoreless draw

USWNT Sweden photo

By MC Bousquette
USWNT Beat Writer

The United States’ match against Sweden ended a 0-0 draw, keeping the US on top of Group D with a single game remaining in group play.

Despite considerable efforts by both sides to convert chances, the match ended scoreless.

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The match opened with even possession between the two squads. The first meaningful attack from the US came via a line drive from Lauren Holiday, but the Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl caught the ball before more damage could be done.

Sweden returned in the 20th minute with a dangerous cross, but an aggressive Ali Krieger cleared the ball before danger could truly arise. The Swedes were back a couple of minutes later with a shot from the top of the box which was knocked out of danger by Megan Rapinoe.

Morgan Brian sent a well-placed cross into the box in the 24th minute, but both Carli Lloyd and Syndey Leroux missed the easy opportunity to convert. The situation reoccurred in the 29th, as Ali Krieger served into the box, but neither Christen Press nor Leroux managed to make contact.  Krieger was back in the 34th with a shot on goal that was easily scooped by Lindahl. Again Krieger sent the ball toward Rapinoe, but the midfielder missed the shot in the 36th.

The first half ended scoreless, with several dangerous opportunities from both sides, but no success in converting attempts. The US took control in the beginning of the second half, with several chances into the box.

As the second half began, Carli Lloyd took an early attempt from deep into the left side of the Swedish box, but the shot was saved by Lindahl. Sweden’s Therese Sjogran responded, coming in hot from the top of the box, but ultimately missing her shot just over the US crossbar in the 53rd. Lotta Schelin attacked again a couple of minutes later, only to encounter a diving save from Hope Solo.

Amy Rodriguez replaced Morgan Brian in the 59th as Press shifted back to right midfield. As Coach Jill Ellis attempted to find the offensive solution, she replaced Press with Abby Wambach in the 68th minute. Wambach, however, was unable to help, as she missed two separate header opportunities in the remainder of the half. Carli Lloyd, who had a quiet game, missed a header herself in the 70th.

Sweden had a succession of corners in the 74th, culminating in an extremely dangerous shot headed out of goal by Meghan Klingenberg. It was the closest either side came to goal all game.

Ellis attempted again to shake up the attack, as she inserted Alex Morgan for Sydney Leroux in the 78th minute. Rapinoe attempted to do it all herself again in the 81st, but the ball was scooped by Lindahl. Morgan was, in the 90th minute, on the receiving end of a perfect cross, but could not make contact, much less hit the back of the net.

Wambach, with the last US chance of the match, missed another header in the 93rd.

The United States’ battle to stay atop the Group of Death continues against Nigeria on Tuesday, June 16th against Nigeria at 8pm (Fox, NBC Universo).