TIANJIN, China -- North Korea advanced to the quarterfinals
of the Women's World Cup, finishing second in Group B despite
losing 2-1 to Sweden on Tuesday.
North Korea and Sweden finished tied with four points each, but
North Korea advanced due to a better goal difference. Sweden needed
to win by at least three goals to advance.
Charlotta Schelin scored both goals for the Swedes, who played
to a 1-1 tie against Nigeria in their opening game of the group -- a
result that ultimately cost the 2003 World Cup finalists a
Sweden scored in the fourth minute when Therese Sjogran sent a
cross to Schelin in front of the goal. The 5-foot-10 Schelin
towered over a North Korean defender and easily headed the ball
into the back of the net.
North Korea tied it in the 22nd after being awarded a free kick.
The Koreans caught the Swedish defenders off guard on the play as
Ri Un-suk ran a few steps and launched a long-range shot just under
Schelin burst between two defenders in the 54th minute to score
the winning goal. Keeper Jon Myong-hui got a hand on the ball but
it dribbled into the back corner of the net.
Sweden played more than half the game without star striker Hanna
Ljungberg, who finished the World Cup without a goal. She came off
the field after some heavy tackling just before halftime left her
and teammate Karolina Westberg writhing side by side.
Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl stopped numerous shots in the
second half to preserve the lead, but Sweden was unable to break
through the Korean defense late to find the goals needed for a