Top-ranked Germany made easy work of Sweden in the Round of 16 Saturday at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Winnipeg, Alberta, as the Teutons scored twice in each half to register a 4-1 win. Germany next faces France in the quarterfinals.
For Sweden, the defeat brings an end to what is undoubtedly the women’s worst-ever showing at the world championship. It is the earliest Sweden has ever been knocked out of a World Cup. Sweden drew all three of its group matches and Pia Sundhage’s squad needed a loss by Costa Rica just to get into the Round of 16 as one of four advancing third-place teams. Advancing did Sweden no favors as it drew nemesis Germany. Sweden has never defeated Germany in a major tournament. Sweden's failure to perform this year came as no surprise: It was a drastically different Sweden that took the field...
“In this tournament, we ended up in a group of death, with three really hard games before playing Germany,” said Sundhage.” I'm really sad at the fact that we didn't advance to the next round, because it means so much to the women's game in Sweden, that's really tough.”
Anja Mittag fired Germany in front after 24 minutes when she capitalized on sloppy play from the Swedish back line. Jessica Samuelsson turned the ball to Mittag, who worked a give-and-go with Celia Sasic. On getting the ball back, Mittag fired a shot from 25 yards that caught Swedish goalkeeper Helvig Lindahl out of position. The ball hit the far post and went into the net. Sasic made the score 2-0 just 12 minutes later when she scored from the penalty spot after Mittag went down on a foul in the area.
Although the score at the half stood at 2-0, Germany easily could have scored more. The world No. 1 team controlled the ball for long stretches and peppered Lindahl with shots. Germany continued to control possession and keep Sweden penned in throughout the second half, and Silvia Neid’s side got their third through Sasic in the 78th minute, who headed into an empty net after Simone Laudher’s initial strike hit a Swedish defender and deflected off the post to leave Lindahl with no chance.

One up, almost two through Jacobsson
Sofia Jakobsson pulled one back for Sweden with eight minutes left to play, heading home Therese Sjögran’s free-kick. Jakobsson nearly cut the deficit to one goal when she broke in one-on-one with German net minder Nadine Angerer but Angerer was able to smother the shot..
Dzsenifer Marozsan made the victory safe for Germany with a sliding, looping shot that arced over a diving Lindahl and settled into the top corner.
“Germany's a very good team, and they deserve to advance,” Sundhage said. “They are very good at running at people, they trust their runs, not just 1-v-1 but off the ball as well, and they created chances. If you want to win that kind of game, when Germany plays that well, you have to play very well - and we didn't.”
The match was the final international appearance for Sjögran, who ended her career with 214 caps for Sweden. It is also likely the last World Cup for striker Lotta Schelin, who did not score in this tournament.
The tournament was also a nearly complete bust for the Damallsvenskan. Only one Sweden-based player, Germany’s Mittag, remains active in the World Cup. Swiss star Romana Bachmann, Dutch striker Kristen Van De Ven, Brazilian star Marta and New Zealand back Alexandra Riley, all of whom play for FC Rosengård, also crashed out of the tournament either in the group stage or the Round of 16.
By Chipp Reid