July 14, 2010
SECOND HALF LET DOWN
Sweden ties U.S. 1-1
OMAHA, Nebraska – Amy Rodriguez scored her eighth international goal as the United States tied Sweden 1-1 at Morrison Stadium Tuesday night.
Rodriguez scored just one minute before halftime, but Sweden answered in the 57th minute on a Linda Forsberg goal before 6,493 fans, the most ever to see a soccer game at the Creighton University soccer stadium in the USA’s first visit to Nebraska.
The goal scored by Sweden was the first allowed by the U.S. at home in 884 minutes dating back to a Nov. 1, 2008, win against Korea Republic in Richmond, Va. The tie ended an eight-game winning streak for the U.S. at home.
“It was a great crowd to begin with,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage. “We scored a great goal, and I thought in our first half we did well. Then we made some changes that were decided before the game, and I think it wasn’t as good in the second half. We lost a little bit when we decided to go 4-3-3, and we lost too much in the midfield and that’s how they created chances. We had a chance to score to make it 2-0, and they scored to make it 1-1. It’s good to have another game coming up, and we can try again.”
The U.S. goal came in the 44th minute when Shannon Boxx found Abby Wambach to her right, and the forward quickly sent a ball inside the penalty area for a streaking Rodriguez who held off her defender and was able to get just enough on the ball to get it past Sweden goalkeeper Sofia Lundgren and into the back of the net.
Sweden equalized in the 57th minute after a header by Rodriguez banged off the cross bar. Defender Stina Segerström knocked the ball up the right side over the top of the U.S. backline that was pushed up high linking up with a darting Forsberg. The midfielder brought the ball down in stride, took two touches towards goal and cooly chipped the ball over the onrushing Nicole Barnhart to tie the game. The goal was just the third allowed by Barnhart in 23 career games.
Wambach and Rodriguez accounted for all seven of the USA’s shots on goal, with 14 of the team’s 18 shots coming from the pair.
Rodriguez got things going in the first minute, getting the ball on the right side and hitting a good strike toward the right corner, but Lundgren, who made five saves in her 72 minutes of action, denied the chance.
Kristin Hammarstrom, who replaced Lundgren halfway through the second half, almost gave up the winning goal when Rodriguez headed a cross from Boxx on frame and the ‘keeper pushed the shot off the crossbar.
Sweden had the last opportunity when Linnea Liljegard crossed the ball in from the right side to second half substitute Sara Linden. The midfielder brought the ball down, cut inside to her right and ripped a shot but Barnhart kept the draw with a fine save, diving low to her left.
Midfielder Kate Markgraf wore the captain’s armband in recognition of her becoming the seventh U.S. player to make her 200th international appearance.
With qualifying on the horizon, Sundhage made a couple changes to start the second half as she continues to look at a number of different players and systems, bringing on Kelly O’Hara for Megan Rapinoe and Sarah Huffman, making her WNT debut, replacing Lori Lindsey.
Ali Krieger came into the match in the 77th minute when LePeilbet came down awkwardly on her left ankle after challenging for a header near the penalty spot.
The two-game series against Sweden concludes on Saturday, July 17, in East Hartford, Conn., with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff live on Fox Soccer Channel.
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 15-Kate Markgraf (capt.), 6-Amy LePeilbet (16-Ali Krieger, 80), 26-Rachel Buehler, 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly (13-Kristine Lilly, 83), 5-Lori Lindsey (22-Sarah Huffman, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 11-Megan Rapinoe (19-Kelly O’Hara, 46); 20-Abby Wambach, 8-Amy Rodriguez
SWE: 21-Sofia Lundgren (12-Kristin Hammarström, 73); 22-Annica Svensson, 7-Sara Larsson, 3-Stina Segerström, 6-Sara Thunebro; 10-Kosovare Asllani (11-Linnea Liljegärd, 64), 5-Caroline Seger (capt.), 18-Nilla Fischer (17-Lisa Dahlkvist, 46), 16-Linda Forsberg (13-Lina Nilsson, 73), 15-Therese Sjögran; 9-Jessica Landström (8-Sara Lindén, 82)