US, Australia advance to knockouts in women’s World Cup

Winnipeg (Canada), June 17 (IANS) The United States beat Nigeria 1-0 while Australia drew 1-1 with Sweden to conclude the Group D schedule of the women’s football World Cup with the US and Australia advancing as the top teams.

The US completed the group stage with two wins and one draw while Australia recorded 1-1-1 with four points. Sweden, which had three draws, had to wait for the last day matches on Tuesday to see if they could be one of the four best third-placed teams from six groups, reports Xinhua.

In Vancouver, American Abby Wambach volleyed in the sole goal of the game, seconds before halftime as she got contact of Megan Rapinoe’s corner at the far post. Nigeria’s Sarah Nnodim received her second yellow (68th minute) when the Africans saw their last hope evaporating.

At the same time in Edmonton, Lisa De Vanna put Australia in the driving seat after five minutes with a goal. A draw could secure second place for Australia. Ten minutes later, Sweden’s Sofia Jakobsson kept their hopes alive to score the equaliser with a 20-yard strike.

When everybody thought the game was going to be an exciting, high-scoring showpiece, both teams went quietly in the second half as neither had many chances.

Australia will meet Brazil, leaders of Group E, in the Round of 16 while US will face the third-placed team from Group B, E or F.

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