My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
USA made one change from their win over Australia, with Morgan Brian replacing captain Abby Wambach – with Carli Lloyd given the armband. Sweden made two, with Amanda Ilestedt and Jessica Samuelsson replacing Emma Berglund and Kosovare Asllani respectively.
America had an early chance when Melanie Rapinoe’s free-kick picked out Julie Johnston, but the centre-back couldn’t get any direction on her header.
Both sides were struggling to carve out chances but were getting balls into dangerous areas with that final ball just not right. Sweden could have had a penalty when a corner was cleared to Caroline Serger whose shot hits the hand of Sydney Leroux to deflect the ball away from goal. The referee decided it wasn’t deliberate, but it did look like the American moved her hand towards the ball.
Minutes later Morgan Brian’s cross picked out Leroux, but her header failed to trouble the keeper.
And towards the end of the first half, USA had a free-kick 25 yards from goal, but Rapinoe’s delivery went over the crossbar and kept on rising.
America had a great start early in the second half when Christen Press picked out Carli Lloyd whose shot forced Hedvig Lindahl to tip the ball over.
Minutes later, Sweden had a chance, but Lina Nillson shot wide. Then Therese Sjogran picked up the ball, turned, and shot from 35 yards and the ball only just travelled over the crossbar. Sjogran then picked out Samuelsson, but the left-back panicked and shot wide.
And then it was USA’s turn to have a penalty appeal. Leroux’s header bounced upwards and Nilla Fischer looked as if she handled the ball. If she had, the referee had to give the spot-kick as there was no way it was not deliberate.
They then could have scored as Rapinoe’s curling pass towards the far post looked as if it was picking out Lloyd, but Samuelsson made a goal-saving headed clearance. From that corner, the ball eventually spun up nicely for Leroux, but she missed the target.
USA kept on pressing. Rapinoe’s cross picked out the substitute Abby Wambach, but header forced Lindahl into a good save. Seconds later, Rapinoe’s corner picked out Lloyd, but she could only head over.
But then Sweden came centimetres from taking the lead. Elin Rubensson’s corner was headed down by Linda Sembrant towards Seger whose first-time shot was headed onto the crossbar and clear by Klingenberg. Goal-Line Technology showed the ball did not fully cross the line.
That was the game’s final chance and leaves Sweden with a must-win final group game against Australia. The Group of Death is living up to its name.
USA: (4-4-2) Hope Solo, Alex Krieger, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg, Morgan Brian (Amy Rodriguez 58), Carli Lloyd (c), Lauren Holiday, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press (Abby Wambach 67), Sydney Leroux (Alex Morgan 78).
Sweden (4-4-2): Hedvig Lindahl, Elin Rubensson, Amanda Ilestedt, Nilla Fischer, Jessica Samuelsson, Sofia Jakobsson, Lisa Dahlkvist, Caroline Seger, Lina Nilsson (Linda Sembrant 70), Therese Sjogran (Emilia Appelqvist 75), Lotta Schelin (c).