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Sweden's Larsson Doubles His Pleasure

June 08, 2002|Associated Press

KOBE, Japan — Henrik Larsson still has the touch.

Eight years after his last World Cup goal, the striker netted two Friday as Sweden beat Nigeria, 2-1, and sent the Super Eagles out of the tournament in the first round.

Larsson scored the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute after he was fouled in the area by Ifeanyi Udeze.

Bolivian referee Rene Ortube, who had told Sweden to play on several times in the first half after the rough Nigerian defense put a few Swedish players on their backsides in the area, whistled for a penalty after Udeze brought down Larsson from behind.

Larsson, who last scored a World Cup goal in the United States eight years ago when Sweden beat Bulgaria, 4-0, in the third-place match, drove his right-footed shot past Nigeria goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu, who got a hand to the ball but couldn't clear it.

In the first half, Larsson scored after taking a pass from Freddie Ljungberg in the 35th minute.

Larsson beat one defender into the box and poked his shot into the right corner despite the closing presence of three Nigerian defenders.

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