Reviewing Sweden, U.S. victories
The United States and Sweden booked places in the semifinals of the Women's World Cup, though each advanced to the final four in a vastly different way Sunday. Abby Wambach scored the latest goal in tournament history to help the U.S. force a penalty shootout, which it eventually won to advance past Brazil. The Americans, who will face France on Wednesday, finished level with Brazil 2-2 after 120 minutes and advanced via shootout 5-3. The U.S. has advanced to the semifinals in each of its six Women's World Cup appearances. Sweden used two first-half goals to defeat Australia 3-1, securing its meeting with Japan in the semifinals.
Here are some more statistical notes from the second pair of quarterfinals at the World Cup:
• The Americans couldn't take advantage of the space Brazil ceded them in terms of width throughout the match. The United States completed five of 28 crossing attempts in attack (17.9 percent), but second-half substitute Megan Rapinoe, who assisted on Wambach's equalizer, completed 5 of 10 crosses (the rest of the team was 0-of-18).
• Brazilian forward Marta, the five-time reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, was dangerous throughout the match and finished with a pair of goals. Marta had 86 touches, took five shots (three on goal) and created a game-high five scoring opportunities. Marta also tied Germany's Birgit Prinz for the all-time Women's World Cup scoring mark with 14 goals.
• Sunday was the 12th anniversary of the Americans' last Women's World Cup title and their prior penalty shootout in tournament history. A bit of dubious history was also made with nine bookings in the match, including U.S. defender Rachel Buehler, who received a red card for fouling Marta in the box in the 65th minute. The U.S. played the final 55 minutes with 10 players after Buehler's expulsion.
• Forward Lotta Schelin had a dominant performance for Sweden against Australia. Schelin had 75 touches, completed 29 of 33 passes (game-high 87.9 percent), assisted on the opening goal and finished the scoring with a goal of her own. Schelin also created three additional scoring chances.
• Sweden scored two goals in the first 16 minutes of its win over Australia, thanks to its ability to create close-range scoring opportunities. Six of Sweden's first-half shots came from inside the box, including both goals.