Germany easily defeated Sweden 4-1 in the Round of 16 Saturday afternoon in Ottawa to advance to the quarter-finals. The Germans will face the winner of Sunday's game between France and Korea.
Celia Sasic, with two goals, Anja Mittag and Dzsenifer Marozsan led the way for Germany. Linda Sembrant scored the lone goal for Sweden in front of a sold out crowd of 22,486 at Lansdowne Stadium.
Right from the start Germany, winner of two World Cup titles, was the better of the two teams.
"We are of course overjoyed," said German coach Silvia Neid. "We had a really good game. Right from the very first minute we were in the game, we worked really well and for 90 minutes we did so. I think we were clearly the better team and that's why we won deservedly 4-1."
A strong first half allowed Germany to jump out to a 2-0 lead and a late second half goal put the game out of reach.
Ranked No. 1 in the world, the Germans sent a message with its performance.
Asked if she felt her team could make it to the final, Neid was thoughtful in her response.
"I'm not convinced of it yet," she said. "A match always starts at zero, you always start fresh. Our next opponent looks like it's going to be France, and they're ranked third, it will not be easy."
Germany could have easily been up 2-0 by the two-minute mark if not for Swedish keeper Hedviq Lindahl. Unfortunately Lindahl didn't get much support.
"Germany's a very good team and they deserved to advance," said Swedish head coach Pia Sundhage. "We fought and we tried, but it was not good enough, unfortunately."
Mittag picked up her fifth goal in four matches in the 24th minute. The goal was a result of a misplaced pass by Sweden and Mittag was able to take advantage as she placed the ball just out of Lindahl's reach.
Germany went up 2-0 as Sasic scored on a penalty shot in the 36th minute after Mittag took a late tackle from Amanda Ilestedt, who received a yellow card.
Sasic scored in the low bottom-right corner, sending Lindahl the opposite way.
Germany had a number of great chances in the second half, but was unable to connect until the 78th minute when Sasic picked up her second, cleaning up a rebound off the post.
Marozsan rounded out Germany's scoring with a goal in the 88th minute.
After its slow start, Sweden did manage to create a few opportunities, but never really challenged German keeper Nadine Angerer.
"We tried hard, but at the same time Germany's a very good team," said Sundhage. "I think there is a very big difference. Every German player seems to be comfortable with the ball, changing direction and creating one-to-one and two versus two. We had a hard time defensively to work on that, but at the same time we couldn't speed up the game when we had possession."
Sweden's best chance came in the final minute of the first half as Sofia Jakobsson took a great cross, but put the header too high.
Sweden finally beat Angerer as Sembrant connected on a beautiful header late in the second half.
Sweden finished the tournament with a disappointing 0-3-1 record.
The Swedes were the last team to advance to the Round of 16 thanks to goal differential. They didn't manage to win a game in group play and continued to struggle Saturday as they were unable to match Germany's intensity.
Germany will be without Saskia Bartusiak for the quarter-final as she was assessed a yellow card for a professional foul in the first half.
This was the fourth time the two teams have met at the World Cup.Suggest a correction