Sweden beats NKorea 1-0, reaches quarterfinals

A second-half goal from Lisa Dahlkvist steered Sweden to a 1-0

victory over North Korea and into the quarterfinals at the Women’s

World Cup on Saturday.

The young North Korean team, which had five teenagers in its

starting lineup, wilted in the second half of its second loss in

two matches.

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

qualified both teams for the last eight – by beating Colombia 3-0

in Sinsheim.

Sweden made the breakthrough 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 was unlucky not to equalize in the 73rd minute when

Ri Un-hyang’s header from a corner 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.

However, only a lack of finishing by Sweden’s tall strikers

Lotta Schelin and Jessica Landstrom prevented their side from

winning by a bigger margin.

”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, it always was going to be a tough challenge.

With midfielder Kim Su-Gyong as young as 16, it faced an

experienced Swedish squad which also physically towered over

them.

”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 United States 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 were more direct and had opportunities before

halftime and just after the break, with Dahlkvist missing a clear

chance on the counterattack. The North Koreans also survived a

frantic goalmouth scramble in the 52nd minute, just two minutes

before Dahlkvist broke the deadlock.

The only disappointment for Sweden came on the hour mark, when

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

referee and will miss the final group game against the United

States.

For the North Koreans, the 2011 World Cup has been a valuable

learning experience so far.

”They have learned a lot. In four years time, we will show a

stronger team to the world,” Kim said.

Lineups:

Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl, Sara Thunebro, Charlotte Rohlin, Sara

Larsson, Annica Svensson, Therese Sjogran, Caroline Seger, Lisa

Dahlkvist, Linda Forsberg, Jessica Landstrom (Josefine Oqvist, 77),

Lotta Schelin.

North Korea: Hong Myong-hui; Ho Un-byol, Jong Pok-sim, Ri

Un-hyang, Song Jong-sun; Kim Su-gyong (Kim Un-ju, 68), Jo Yun-mi,

Jon Myong-hwa, Ri Ye-gyong (Kim Chung-sim, 84); Ra Un-sim, Yun

Hyon-hi (Choe Mi-gyong, 80).