Abby Wambach scored her first goal in this World Cup but it was not enough to stop Sweden whose rampaging Lotta Schelin subjected the US defense to all kinds of pressure. Amy LePeilbet had a horror show lucky to escape with just a yellow after she brought down Schelin in the box.
Referee Etsuko Fukano pointed to the spot. Hope Solo came inches away from stopping Lisa Dahlkvist but her shot had too much power. Matters became worse when Nilla Fischer's free kick from 20 yards out was diverted into goal by LePeilbet as Solo looked to have it covered. The half ended with Sweden up 2-0 and the USA spurning a number of chances as Amy Rodriguez, Wambach, and Carli Lloyd came close.
On resumption, the USA again dominated possession with a number of chances but only Wambach's conversion of a corner resulted in a goal. Sweden could have added to the tally but Schelin was mistakenly adjudged offside.
The USA now face Brazil in the quarterfinals and their lack of finishing should be of concern to Pia Sundhage. To get past the Brazilians they have to maximize their chances because the one thing the Selecao have shown is a killer instinct for goals.
Sundhage after Sweden's first win over the USA in four previous World Cup matches highlighted the lack of penetrative power.
"We could have been a little bit more patient, especially in the attacking third. We were too eager to play the ball into the box and we could have fought to get to the endline a little more. At times we knocked it around quite a bit in the midfield but we could have created bigger chances by fighting to the endline and playing from there."
The only player capable of doing that appeared to be Lauren Cheney. The introduction of veteran Shannon Boxx and Carli Lloyd slowed down game to one of attrition in the midfield. Heather O' Reilly should have been introduced to give more creativity on attack.