Sweden 1, North Korea 0

Sweden reached the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup,

defeating North Korea 1-0 on Saturday on a second-half goal by Lisa

Dahlkvist.

North Korea, which started five teenagers, wilted late in the

game and was all but eliminated from the tournament after two

losses in two games.

The United States joined the Swedes at the top of Group C –

putting both teams among the last eight – by beating Colombia 3-0

in Sinsheim.

Sweden scored in the 64th minute when Linda Forsberg crossed

into the middle and Therese Sjogran picked out the unmarked

Dahlkvist for a simple finish from close range.

North Korea nearly tied it in the 73rd minute when Ri Un-hyang’s

header from a corner kick was cleared off the line by Sara

Thunebro.

”Unfortunately, we really didn’t convert the chances that we

had,” North Korea coach Kim Kwang-Min said.

Sweden would have won by a wider margin had tall strikers Lotta

Schelin and Jessica Landstrom shown a more polished finishing

touch.

”Anyway, for me, it doesn’t matter. I am satisfied,” coach

Thomas Dennerby said. ”Hopefully, we have lots of games left for

the Swedish team, and they can create chances and score then.”

For North Korea, featuring a 16-year-old midfielder in Kim

Su-Gyong, it was always was going to be a challenge against an

experienced and towering Swedish squad.

”They are very young and haven’t got a lot of experience,”

coach Kim said. ”In the second half they had much less energy.

They also lacked concentration and we didn’t convert the

chances.”

From the outset, Sweden took the game to North Korea, and

Schelin saw a shot in the second minute sail just wide.

The North Koreans, who had also held the U.S. to a goalless

stalemate until the second half of their opener before losing 2-0,

managed to keep a neat passing game going for an hour- but

struggled to create any real chances.

The Swedes had opportunities before halftime and just after the

break, with Dahlkvist missing a clear chance on the counterattack.

North Korea survived a frantic goalmouth scramble in the 52nd

minute, two minutes before Dahlkvist broke the deadlock.

The only disappointment for Sweden came in the 60th minute when

captain Caroline Seger was drew a yellow card for a run-in with the

referee. She will miss her team’s final group game against the

U.S.

For the North Koreans, the World Cup has proved a valuable

experience.

”They have learned a lot,” the coach said. ”In four years

time, we will show a stronger team to the world.”