U.S. WNT Meets Sweden in 2012 Algarve Cup’s Third-Place Match

U.S. Soccer Federation

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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U.S. Soccer FederationUSA FACES SWEDEN FOR THIRD PLACE AT ALGARVE CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Team will be looking to rebound from Monday’s loss to Japan when it faces Sweden on Wednesday, March 7, in the third-place game of the 2012 Algarve Cup. The USA-Sweden clash kicks off at 6 a.m. ET at Estadio Municipal Bela Vista in Parchal, Portugal. Both the USA and Sweden were leading their respective groups heading into their final match and needed either a win or a draw to reach the title game, but the USA dropped a 1-0 decision to Group B winner Japan on Monday, while Sweden was routed 4-0 by Group A winner Germany. 

FLASHBACK TO ’98: This marks the USA’s first appearance in the third-place match of this tournament since the 1998 Algarve Cup when it defeated – that’s right – Sweden. The USA won 3-1 that day on goals from three players you might have heard of – Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain and Kristine Lilly. Prior to this year, the USA had made nine consecutive Algarve Cup Finals, a remarkable and unprecedented feat considering the high level of competition at this annual tournament. This is the third straight year that Sweden is playing in the third-place game after winning the 2009 Algarve Cup over the U.S. in a shootout. 

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – Detailed Roster 
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Hope Solo, 18-Nicole Barnhart

DEFENDERS (8): 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 14-Stephanie Cox, 19-Rachel Buehler, 22-Whitney Engen

MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Lori Lindsey, 17-Tobin Heath

FORWARDS (4): 11-Sydney Leroux, 12-Lauren Cheney, 13-Alex Morgan, 20-Abby Wambach 


U.S. forward Abby Wambach, who recently surpassed three-time World Cup goalkeeper Briana Scurry for 10th all-time in career caps, earned her 175th career cap during Monday’s Algarve Cup game against Japan.

Wambach has 17 career goals in the Algarve Cup, the most among all USA players. Her goal against Norway on March 2 was the 133rd goal of her career. Wambach is two goals behind Portugal’s Carla Couto for the all-time tournament lead. 


The U.S. has faced Sweden 31 previous times, ranking as the fourth-most games against an opponent behind Canada (49), Norway (47) and China (45).

The U.S.-Sweden series started with a 2-1 U.S. loss to Sweden on July 9, 1987, in Blaine, Minn., but the U.S. posted a 10-0-3 record in its next 13 matches through 2000.

In the 1998 Algarve Cup, when the U.S. topped Sweden 3-1 in the third-place game, Sweden netted the game’s first goal, but the USA tallied three unanswered from Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain on a penalty kick and Kristine Lilly in the closing minutes.

In the 2009 Algarve Cup championship, Sweden edged the U.S. 4-3 in a shootout after both sides played to a 1-1 draw through regulation. Sweden was on the verge of winning the match in regulation with Lotta Schelin’s 18th-minute goal, but U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx scored a 90th-minute equalizer to push for the shootout. In a wild shootout, Sweden scored on its first three attempts but could not close out the U.S. with its next three attempts. Eventually on the seventh kick, Stina Segerstrom converted the game-winner.

The last time the U.S. and Sweden met, Tobin Heath scored on a rebound in the 81rst minute as the USA overcame a late deficit for a 1-1 draw on Nov. 19, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. The U.S. clearly outplayed Sweden, holding a 19-7 shots advantage.

The USA played Sweden three times in 2011 and failed to win. The USA lost 2-1 at the Four Nations Tournament in China in January, fell 2-1 during group play at the Women’s World Cup and then got the draw in Arizona. 

TOP-RANKED TEAMS REMAIN: Four of the top five FIFA-ranked teams are participating in this year’s Algarve Cup, and all four are represented in Wednesday’s championship and third-place matches. No. 1 USA faces No. 5 Sweden in the third-place game and No. 2 Germany meets No. 3 Japan in the title game. Fourth-ranked Brazil was not a participant in the Algarve Cup.

ALGARVE CUP TOURNAMENT FORMAT: Since the expansion to 12 teams in 2002, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The teams in Group A and B compete for the title. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B play for third place, while the third-place finishers play for fifth. The Group C teams compete for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C plays the best fourth-place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C plays the worst fourth place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C play each other for 11th place. Following are the matchups for the placement matches: 

11th Place Match: Hungary vs. Rep. Ireland – Loulé 
9th Place Match: Portugal vs. China Faro – Algarve Stadium 
7th Place Match: Wales vs. Norway – Quarteira 
5th Place Match: Iceland vs. Denmark – Ferreiras 
3rd Place Match: Sweden vs. USA – Parchal 
Championship: Germany vs. Japan Faro – Algarve Stadium 

GROUP A RECAP: Germany proved it was the top team in Group A, dominating Sweden with a 4-0 victory on Monday. Celia Okoyino da Mbabi led the way for Germany with a hat trick by the 65th minute for a 3-0 Germany lead. Alexandra Popp added a goal in second-half stoppage time to set the stage for a Germany-Japan Algarve Cup title match. Sweden’s loss puts the team in the third-place match against the United States. In the other Group A game, Iceland’s Fanndís Friðriksdóttir scored an 80th-minute goal for a 1-0 victory against China. 

GROUP B RECAP: Japan, playing in only its second Algarve Cup, won Group B with a 1-0 victory against the U.S. on Megumi Takase’s 84th-minute header goal. The USA entered Monday’s match needing a win or a draw to advance to the title game because of its goal differential advantage, but Japan topped the U.S. for the first time ever in regulation and the second straight time overall, going back to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. In the other Group A match, Denmark’s Johanna Rasmussen scored a seventh-minute goal to defeat Norway 1-0. Denmark had been outscored 7-0 in the previous two matches, including a 5-0 loss to the U.S. to open its Algarve Cup. 

GROUP C RECAP: Wales took the group with a 2-1 victory against Hungary. Helen Lander had both goals in the 10th and 50th minutes. Hungary’s Fanny Vago cut the deficit to one goal, but Wales hung on the rest of the way to wrap up Group C play with a 2-0-1 record and seven points. Portugal settled for second in the group with a 2-1 win against Ireland on Monday, garnering six points in the group stage. Ana Borges had both Portugal goals, in the seventh and 74th minutes. 

Swedish Football Association 
Founded: 1904 (Joined FIFA in 1904) 
Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby 
FIFA World Ranking: 5 
Algarve Cup Championships: 3 (1995, 2001, 2009) 
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: Second place (2003) 
Best Olympics Finish: Fourth place (2004) 

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Hedvig Lindahl (Kristianstads DFF), 12-Kristin Hammarström (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 21-Sofia Lundgren (Linköpings FC)

DEFENDERS (6): 2-Charlotte Rohlin (Linköpings FC), 3-Stina Segerstrom (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 4-Annica Svensson (Tyresö FF), 6-Sara Thunebro (FFC Frankfurt, GER), 7-Linda Sembrant (Tyresö FF), 12-Emma Berglund (Umeå IK)

MIDFIELDERS (8): 5-Caroline Seger (Tyresö FF), 10-Sofia Jakobsson (FC Rossiyanka, RUS), 11-Antonia Göransson (FFC Turbine Potsdam, GER), 14-Johanna Almgren (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 15-Therese Sjögran (FC Malmö), 17-Lisa Dahlkvist (Tyresö FF), 18-Nilla Fischer (Linköpings FC), 20-Marie Hammaström (KIF Örebro DFF)

FORWARDS (4): 8-Lotta Schelin (Olympique Lyonais, FRA), 9-Jessica Landstrom (FFC Frankfurt, GER), 16-Madelaine Edlund (Tyresö FF), 19-Susanne Moberg (Kristianstads DFF) 


Midfielder Therese Sjogran is Sweden’s most-capped player with 171 international appearances. She played for New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC during the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer season.

Lotta Schelin, who has scored 40 goals for Sweden over 95 appearances, first debuted for the senior team during the 2006 Algarve Cup en route to a third-place finish. That year she was awarded the Diamond Ball as Sweden’s best female player, and was the Damallsvenskan Forward of the Year.

Jessica Landstrom (Sky Blue FC), Caroline Seger (Philadelphia Independence) and Therese Sjögran (Sky Blue FC) all played in the WPS.

Landstrom and Sara Thunebro played with the currently injured Ali Krieger on FFC Frankfurt in Germany. 


On the field for USA: 
March 5, 2012 – Estadio Algarve – Faro, Portugal – Algarve Cup 
USA 0 
Japan 1 Megumi Takase 86 

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (19-Rachel Buehler, 46), 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly (8-Amy Rodriguez, 58), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 17-Tobin Heath (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46); 13-Alex Morgan (11-Sydney Leroux, 77), 20-Abby Wambach (12-Lauren Cheney, 65) 
Subs not used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 16-Lori Lindsey, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 22-Whitney Engen 
Head coach: Pia Sundhage 

NOR: 12-Caroline Knutsen; 2-Madeleine Gisk, 5-Toril Akerhaugen, 7-Trine Rønning, 14-Marita Skammelsrud; 4-Ingvild Stensland (capt.), (15-Nora Holstad Berge, 30), 6-Maren Mjelde, 13-Gry Tofte Ims (17-Ingrid Mo Wold, 80); 9-Isabell Herlovsen (19-Emilie Havvi, 83), 10-Lindy Melissa Wiik (20-Caroline Hansen, 65), 18-Cecilie Pedersen (16-Elise Thorsnes, 46) 
Subs not used: 1-Ingrid Hjelmseth, 3-Kristine Hegland, 8-Ingvild Isaksen, 11-Leni Larsen Kaurin, 21-Christine Nilsen 
Head coach: Eli Landsem 

Vs. Sweden for the USA: 
Nov. 19, 2011 – University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Ariz. 
USA 1 Tobin Heath 81 
Sweden 1 Sofia Jakobsson 28 

USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 11-Ali Krieger (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 19-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (14-Stephanie Cox, 74); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 12-Lauren Cheney; 20-Abby Wambach (13-Alex Morgan, 74) 
Subs not used: 6-Amy LePeilbet, 16-Lori Lindsey, 21-Jill Loyden 
Head coach: Pia Sundhage 

SWE: 12-Kristin Hammarström; 2-Emma Berglund, 3-Linda Sembrant, 4-Annica Svensson, 6-Sara Thunebro; 17-Lisa Dahlkvist, 18-Nilla Fischer (capt.), 14-Johanna Almgren (22-Louise Fors, 61); 10-Sofia Jakobsson (20-Susanne Moberg, 87), 9-Jessica Landström (16-Madelaine Edlund, 75), 8-Lotta Schelin 
Subs not used: 1-Hedvig Lindahl, 5-Marina Pettersson Engström, 7-Sara Larsson, 13-Emmelie Konradsson, 19-Jessica Samuelsson 
Head coach: Thomas Dennerby

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