FIFA Women's World Cup: U.S. settle for scoreless draw vs. Sweden
Anticipated "group of death" match falls flat
The United States played to a 0-0 tie with Sweden and former coach Pia Sundhage Friday night in one of the most anticipated matches of the group stage at the Women's World Cup.
Abby Wambach came off the bench in the second half, but her header in the 72nd minute was popped up and over the crossbar by Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.
A win would have assured the United States a spot in the knockout round as the Americans seek their third World Cup title, but first since 1999. The U.S. women advanced to the final four years ago in Germany, but fell to Japan on penalty kicks.
The United States, ranked No. 2 in the world, has one more group stage match, on Tuesday in Vancouver, British Columbia, against Nigeria. Sweden heads to Edmonton, Alberta, for its final group match with Australia. The monthlong tournament, with an expanded field of 24 teams, is being played across six Canadian cities.
Japan to knockout stage
Aya Sameshima scored in the 6th minute as defending champion Japan became the first team at the women's World Cup to secure a berth in the knockout stage with a 2-1 victory over Cameroon.
Yuika Sugasawa added a header off a cross by Aya Miyama in the 17th minute for Japan (2-0), which held on for the win despite a strong performance by Cameroon, which scored in the 90th minute after a strong run and shot by Ajara Nchout.
Cameroon nearly tied the game in stoppage time on a header by Gaelle Enganamouit, but her shot missed just to the left. Japan plays its final group stage match against Ecuador on Tuesday, while Cameroon (1-1) faces Switzerland.
Australia blanks Nigeria 2-0
Kyah Simon scored twice to lead Australia to a 2-0 victory over Nigeria in a group stage match Friday at the Women's World Cup.
Simon beat Nigeria goalkeeper Precious Dede on a feed from Lisa De Vanna to put the Matildas up 1-0 in the 29th minute. She then found herself unguarded in the front of the goal to put away Samantha Kerr's arcing cross in the 68th minute.
Australia, ranked No. 10 in the world, fell 3-1 to the second-ranked United States in its Group D opener. The Matildas have been to six World Cups, with a best finish of sixth in 2007.
Nigeria, ranked No. 33, surprised fifth-ranked Sweden in the opener, coming back from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-3 tie. The perennial African champion Super Falcons have been to all seven Women's World Cups. Their best finish was a quarterfinal appearance in 1999.
Switzerland routs Ecuador 10-1
Fabienne Humm and Ramona Bachmann both had second-half hat tricks to lead Switzerland to a 10-1 rout of Ecuador on Friday at the Women's World Cup.
Humm scored her first goal in the 47th minute off a powerful strike from outside the penalty box. All three of her goals would come within six minutes early in the second.
Bachmann finished off Switzerland's scoring in the 81st minute with its 10th goal.
Eseosa Aigbogun and Martina Moser also found the back of the net for the Swiss, who got their first win of the tournament.
Angie Ponce scored for Ecuador — its first World Cup goal — on a penalty kick in the 64th.
Switzerland currently leads the Group C standings with a 1-0-1 record and three points. The loss drops Ecuador to 0-0-2.