Sunday, September 16, 2007

GOAL! Goal goal goal GOOOOOAL!


U.S. Women Top Sweden 2-0 in World Cup Soccer

From the Group News Blog Sports Desk

Wambach & Lilly led the tournament favorite U.S. Womens National Team as they dominated Sweden in a 2-0 match in Group B action in World Cup soccer late this week.

With this win the U.S. Womens National Team is four points atop Group B, needing only a tie in their Tuesday match against Nigeria (they could also move on with a loss) to advance to the quarterfinals. The "Group of Death" B is by far the hardest group, almost a quarter or even a semi-final round in and of itself, but the Americans are clearly on form.

A victory on Tuesday might put the U.S. in first place overall with a quarter-final match against England or Japan instead of the much harder Germany. The Americans with two goals from striker Abby Wambach are 1-0-1 with four points and a plus-2 goal differential for the tournament.

Wambach is playing with 11 stitches in her head which she acquired during th
e 2-2 draw with North Korea during the first game, plus a sore toe. Wambach has 80 Caps in 98 games for the U.S. national team, which wants to pick up another World Cup to complement their titles from 1991 &1999.

Playing step for step with Wambach is Kristine Lilly, at 36, the last veteran still on the field from the first championship team in 1991. Lilly has played in every Women's World Cup since 1991 and had several chances to score. It was Lilly's soaring pass in minute 58 floating down that set up Wambach's second goal, settling off Abby's chest as she ripped a left-footed smash from 15 yards into the net behind Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

Also Friday, in Shanghai, Japan defeated Argentina, 1-0 and England held defending champion Germany to a scoreless (0-0) draw. The results mean Germany and Japan top Group-A with four points each.

All games are live on ESPN and ESPN2, , but at 2am and 5am on the West Coast. US games are being repeated later each day on ESPN2. You can find more detail at either the official site of the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007 or ESPN's World Cup coverage which is really pretty terrific. Oh, and here's a consolidated television schedule.

I won't open a new thread each game. Use this for Tuesday's quarters. If the U.S. wins, I'll open a new thread for the semi's.

From the GNB Sports Desk, this is Jesse Wendel reporting.

Kick it.