Sweden top Group C with Australia qualifying second in Group D
Sweden pipped USA to top spot in Group C with a 2-1 win over their closest rivals in Wolfsburg’s Im Allerpark Arena.
Sweden were awarded a penalty after 14 minutes when Amy LePeilbet brought down Lotta Schelin as she bore down on goal and Lisa Dahlkvist made no mistake from 12 yards.
Sweden’s lead was doubled on 35 minutes when USA ‘keeper Hope Solo was left stranded when a Nilla Fischer free-kick took a deflection and nestled in the American net.
The USA got their own stroke of fortune on 67 minutes when a Lauren Cheney cross met with Abby Wambach’s shoulder and Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl could not prevent the ball from beating her.
Sweden held on for the remainder of the match to earn a quarter-final clash with Australia.
Elsewhere in Group C, Japan and Columbia contested a 0-0 that concluded their tournament. Neither side managed to score a goal in the group stage but at least left Germany with a point each.
In Group D Australia reached the quarter-finals with a 2-1 victory over Norway, thanks to a Kyah Simon double.
Both teams approached the first half in tentative fashion, resulting in a goalless opening 45 minutes. But It took just 11 minutes of the second period for the match in Leverkusen to spark into action.
Elise Thorsnes had provided the biggest threat for the Scandinavians prior to the interval and her persistence paid off on 56 minutes when she pounced on a mix-up in the Australia defence and rolled the ball into an empty net.
Celebrations were short lived, however, when just three minutes after the opener Australia drew level. Hesitant play among the Norway defenders let Lisa De Vanna steal the ball and tee up Simon for the equaliser.
The Group D clash was settled and The Matildas’ progress ensured when Simon completed the scoring with three minutes remaining after latching on to a Kim Carroll cross.
Three second half goals without reply were enough to ensure Brazil beat Equatorial Guinea and won Group D.
A frustrating first half for the South Americans was all but forgotten when Ana Cristina volleyed home with her left foot after 49 minutes.
Six minutes later the deficit was doubled when Marta surged down the left and delivered a perfect cross to the near post for Christiane to convert.
The Samba stars waited until the third minute of injury time to complete the scoring, Christiane doubled her tally with a neatly taken penalty.