N. Korea Ousts Sweden Despite Loss

Associated Press
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TIANJIN, China, Sept. 18 -- 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.

The teams finished tied with four points each, but North Korea advanced because of a better goal differential. 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 -- a result that ultimately cost the 2003 World Cup finalists a spot in the quarterfinals.

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 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 North 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 the crossbar.

Schelin burst between two defenders in the 54th minute to score the winner. Goalkeeper 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.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company