PORTLAND, Ore. (CP) — With an upset
victory within their grasp Canada was caught napping Sunday
and gave up the tying goal, then watched in shock as Sweden
roared back for a 2-1 victory in the semifinal of the FIFA
women’s World Cup.
Canada had taken a 1-0 lead when striker Kara Lang scored
off a free kick in the 65th minute.
With the clock winding down, and Canada’s improbable
World Cup journey looking like it may end in the final, Sweden
was awarded a free kick just outside the 18-yard box.
The Canadians looked confused and slow in their reaction
to the call. Swedish striker Victoria Svensson, named player
of the game, quickly put the ball down and sent a pass
to Malin Moestroem who scored in the 76th minute.
With just four minutes left in regulation time, Svensson again
played Canuck killer, sending a ball to Josefine Oqvist who
scored to break Canada’s heart and send Sweden into Sunday’s
final against Germany.
Canada will face the U.S. in Saturday’s third-place game.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Lang,
of Oakville, Ont., who at 16 is the youngest member of the
Canadian team.”We were caught on our heels and one step
behind. We’re all in a little bit of shock. Right now
all I can think is this wasn’t supposed to happen.”
Coach Even Pellerud said he was proud his team, but was left
shaking his head that a victory was so quickly snatched out
of its hand.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Pellerud. “We
were 15 minutes away. We had pretty good control at that time.
I was feeling more and more comfortable but never safe.”
Swedish coach Marika Domanski Lyfors said her team never gave
“We were pushing and pushing and trying to get a goal
after their goal,” she said.”We were a little bit
nervous when we got down, then we had a plan. We scored once,
we scored twice then we had to calm down a little bit and keep
It looked like Lang had booted Canada into the final with
Sweden’s Jane Toernqvist was given a yellow card for
bulling over Canada’s Christine Latham. Lang calmly launched
a rocket from 30 yards out that went off the hands of diving
goalie Caroline Joensson, hit the post and went into the net.
Lang said she didn’t think at the time one goal would
be enough to beat Sweden.
“When I scored I looked at the clock and knew we still
had a lot of time and a lot of soccer to play,” she said. “We
all knew it wasn’t going to be over until 90 minutes.”
Earlier, a sellout crowd of 27,623 at PGE Park saw Germany
get goals from Kerstin Garefrekes, Maren Meinert and Birgit
Prinz to defeat the defending champion U.S. 3-0.
U.S. coach April Heinrichs was asked how difficult it will
be to rally her team for a game with no championship on the
“When you gear up as we geared up for the last 12 months
it is difficult to get it together again to play quickly,” said
Heinrichs, who was on the verge of tears.
“We’ll take a few days off. Their pride will get
together again and they will play a phenomenal match.”