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ATHENS 2004

Germany Gets Bronze in Soccer

August 27, 2004|Grahame L. Jones

ATHENS — Germany, bolstered by the extraordinary goalkeeping of Silke Rottenberg, defeated Sweden, 1-0, on Thursday evening to add the Olympic bronze medal to the gold medal it won last year in the fourth FIFA Women's World Cup.

Rottenberg was in superb form, time and again denying the Swedish forwards and midfielders with acrobatic saves that had the Scandinavians shaking their heads in disbelief.

Part of it was pure skill, as when Rottenberg flew to her right to turn a shot by Malin Andersson around the post, and part of it was pure luck, as when she cleared a shot by striker Hanna Ljungberg with a remarkable foot save.

The match, well-officiated by American referee Kari Seitz of San Mateo, turned on two incidents.

The first came 16:55 into the game when Swedish goalkeeper Caroline Joensson fumbled a shot by German midfielder Renate Lingor and the ball slipped into the net off her hands to give Germany the lead.

The second came in the 43rd minute when Sweden was forced to take forward Victoria Svensson out of the game after she injured her left ankle in a collision with Rottenberg while both were going for the ball.

The early goal and the loss of their top striker was more than the Swedes could overcome.

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-- Grahame L. Jones

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