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Sweden Composes a Victory

It methodically beats Brazil, 2-1, but the latter claims a late-match penalty was ignored.

October 02, 2003|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

FOXBORO, Mass. — Sweden's march toward the Women's World Cup final continued Wednesday evening with a deserved but nonetheless controversial 2-1 victory over Brazil in the quarterfinals.

The Swedes played the more composed, more fluent brand of soccer, using goals by Victoria Svensson and Malin Andersson to advance to the semifinals, where they will play either Canada or China.

The controversial aspect of their victory at Gillette Stadium revolved around a non-call by Chinese referee Zhang Dongquing in stoppage time at the end of the match.

Brazilian forward Katia, the tournament's joint-leading goal scorer with four goals, danced into the penalty area and was threatening the Swedish net when she appeared to be taken down from behind by Sweden's Sara Call.

"We, of course, believe that it was a penalty, because [Katia] had complete control of the ball and as she was getting ready to shoot it she was hit from behind," Brazil Coach Paulo Goncalves said.

"In most people's minds, that is a penalty."

Sweden Coach Marika Domanski Lyfors begged to differ.

"They got a penalty in the first half and that was enough, I think," she said tersely.

Even the first penalty was somewhat controversial. Sweden had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Svensson powerfully headed Malin Mostrom's cross past Brazilian goalkeeper Andreia.

The Swedes were in complete control and were about to go into the locker room at halftime with the 1-0 lead when backup goalkeeper Sofia Lundgren upended Marta, Brazil's 17-year-old midfielder, although the 44th-minute foul did not appear to be intentional.

Zhang pointed to the penalty spot, and Marta drove the ball low into the right corner underneath the diving Lundgren to tie the score.

Lundgren started the match in place of the usual Swedish starter, Caroline Joensson, after the latter was given morphine to ease stomach cramps she had after the team's victory over Nigeria. As a precaution, FIFA recommended to Sweden that she be left out of the quarterfinal match because the drug would show up in doping control.

The winning goal came eight minutes into the second half on a direct free kick by Andersson after a foul by Renata Costa. Andersson fired a perfect shot from 28 yards that flew into the upper right corner of the Brazilian net over the outstretched arms of Andreia.

The result left the Swedes within one victory of the Oct. 12 championship match.

"I think we have a chance against" either Canada or China, Lyfors said. "We shall do everything now to reach the final."

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