COLUMBUS, Ohio - Sweden beat Nigeria 3-0 Sunday behind two
goals by Hanna Ljungberg and moved into the quarterfinals in the Women's World Cup.
The victory gave Sweden second place in
Group A, after the U.S. beat North Korea to knock the Asian champs out of the tournament.
Ljungberg, who set a league record with 39 goals for her Swedish
team last year, broke a scoring slump with her first goals of the
Malin Andersson helped set up Ljungberg's first goal in the 56th
minute with a long kick to the right of the goal. Victoria Svensson
kept the ball in play, kicking it back in front of the goal.
Ljungberg headed it in before Nigerian goaltender Precious Dede
Ljungberg raised her hands in celebration and was surrounded by
teammates as a sellout crowd cheered. There was a sparse turnout at
the outset but most of the seats were filled as the U.S. game
The Swedes sealed the victory with two goals in a one-minute
span. Ljungberg scored in the 80th minute on an assist from Therese
Sjoegran, who beat defender Ifeaniyichukwu Chiejine. Malin
Moestroem scored on a breakaway seconds later for a 3-0 lead.
Dede had dominated until Ljungberg's goal, making diving stops
and leaping high to deflect high shots over the bar. She had nine
saves in the first half.
Nigeria, outscored 11-0 in its three first-round matches, seldom
pressured the Sweden defense. Goaltender Caroline Joensson stopped
shots by Perpetua Nkwocha twice in the first half and then grabbed
a header by Nkwocha in the 75th minute to preserve the shutout.