U.S., Sweden end in 1-1 tie
OMAHA, Neb. -- Amy Rodriguez scored the lone goal for the United State in a 1-1 tie with Sweden on Tuesday night in an exhibition women's soccer game.
She almost had another goal with a header in the 57th minute, but it ricocheted off the crossbar.
Linda Forsberg scored the lone goal for Sweden.
The two teams meet again at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on Saturday.
The U.S. outshot Sweden 18-8 in Tuesday's match, including an 11-3 advantage before halftime.
"We had a lot of chances in the first half," U.S. forward Abby Wambach said. "Now we're kicking ourselves for not putting them away."
Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 44th minute, cutting between Swedish defender Sara Larsson and goalkeeper Sofia Lundgren to put a Wambach assist into the corner of the net.
Shannon Boxx started the play for the U.S. by winning a ball with a tackle in the midfield.
"That's one of her specialties," Rodriguez said. "She's able to pick the ball up so well. And then Abby Wambach played me a great ball in behind, and I was able to dink it right over the goalkeeper. It was a great goal."
But it was the only goal for the U.S. Heather O'Reilly missed wide of the net from close range just before the break, and Rodriguez put two headers in the crossbar in the second half.
The first of those led to Sweden's tying goal. The ball remained in play after the shot, and Stina Segerstrom sent a pass from midfield over the top of the U.S. defense to a streaking Forsberg, who beat keeper Nicole Barnhart for the equalizer.
It was the first goal the Americans had allowed at home since giving one up against South Korea on Nov. 1, 2008. They had posted nine consecutive shutouts on U.S. soil since.
Barnhart, now 14-0-2 in 16 career starts for the Americans, had been scored on only twice in her previous 15 matches. She had two saves in the game while Lundgren tallied five and Kristin Hammarstrom added one for Sweden.
Forsberg's goal came after the U.S. made substitutions at halftime to switch its formation in a predetermined plan by coach Pia Sundhage. She didn't necessarily like the result.
"I think our first half, we did well," said Sundhage, a native of Sweden. "In the second half, we lost a little bit. It's good have another game soon so we can try it again."
U.S. captain Christie Rampone was with her team but did not suit up as she continues her return following the birth of her second child in March. Veteran defender Heather Mitts also didn't play after injuring her left quad during training over the weekend.
Kate Markgraf, the U.S. captain for Tuesday's match, became the seventh women's national team player with 200 career caps.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press