Sweden and China Play to a Draw in Group B

Goalmouth action from Sweden v China

Goalmouth action from Sweden v China

Sweden 1 : 1 China

Kara McDermott

With a draw between Sweden and China in the Algarve Cup, group B of the women’s tournament will be a fight all the way to the finish.

Sweden came out with the excited energy characteristic of a Pia Sundhage squad. Fully committed tackles on the ball and penetrating plays by the likes of Lotta Schelin and Emmelie Konradsson seemed to indicate that an early lead by the Swedes was not too far off. However, near misses, sailed shots and wide shots kept them at bay. China meanwhile, at first playing stunned against the aggressive Swedes, gathered more rythmn and began returning the attacks.

China relied on the skill of their point player, right midfielder Wang Lisi, whose speed on the side and footskills in the box proved threatening on several occassions.

Despite the strong presence of both Schelin and Lisi, neither came through with goals. Instead, the first came to China from Ren Guixin who took perfect advantage of an opening to strike the ball the top left of the goal box across to far post past goalkeeper Kristin Hammarstrom in the 32′ minute.

Single-Match-Tickets-V2The Swedes were shocked, and partially deflated from the surprise goal against run of play. Though continuing to attack, their effervescent confidence fizzled.

However, their ball movement across the field kept the flow in their favor and their physical dominance kept the Chinese from building an organized attack. China most suffered from small ball skills, sloppy first touches and hospital balls worked against them holding the lead to the final whistle.

In the 59th minute, Sweden finally answered with a stunning shot from Sara Thunebro, playing in her 100th game for Sweden, taken from the left side well outside the box across to the upper right corner.

The goal was textbook, but did not bring complete joy to the defender considering the final score, “After a few minutes after the game I’m just disappointed to losing two points instead of winning three.”

The possession game definitely belonged to Sweden, but the Chinese tenacity kept an even score line until the final whistle. Sweden created chances, but failed to convert in the box and on the numerous corner kicks they earned.

The tie keeps both teams alive in group play. In order to battle for the cup though, both China and Sweden need China to take points off th United States when they match up on Friday March 8. Sweden will play Iceland the same day before they get their shot at the US on Monday March 11 for the final round of group play.


Norway Stun World Champions

Sweden fans sing their anthem before kick off

Sweden fans sing their anthem before kick off



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