Late goal sees US women draw Sweden

BY foxsports • November 19, 2011

Tobin Heath scored off a rebound in the 81st minute to help the U.S. women's team tie Sweden 1-1 in an exhibition Saturday night.

The Americans outplayed the Swedes, getting 19 shots to the Europeans' seven, but hit the posts or crossbar three times before Heath's shot.

Sweden's Sofia Jakobsson scored from just out the box in the 28th minute.

The exhibition was the last game of the year for the U.S. national team, following two weeks of training in preparation of the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament Jan. 19-29 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In the 81st minute, Alex Morgan got a shot off in the box that goalkeeper Kristin Hammarstrom blocked, but Heath - a second-half sub - knocked the rebound into the net from about 8 yards out.

Abby Wambach hit the left post on a header from close range in the 73rd minute and Morgan had a clear shot from left of Hammarstrom but hit the right post in the 78th minute.

In the first half, Jakobsson fired a shot that deflected slightly off U.S. defender Christie Rampone into the upper-right corner of the net, past goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.

Regular national team goalie Hope Solo, who has been in goal since before the World Cup, was not with the squad during the last two weeks while she competed on ''Dancing with the Stars.''

The United States, second last summer in the World Cup, lost to Sweden 2-1 during the tournament in Germany in the final group match, and by the same score in an exhibition to start the year Jan. 21.

The national team finished 13-3-4 for the year.

The Americans tied Canada 1-1 on Sept. 17, then beat the Canadians 3-0 on Sept. 22.

The Swedes have already qualified for the Olympics next summer and only five of their starters Saturday were in the lineup for the win over the Americans at the World Cup.

In the first half, the U.S. women controlled much of the possession, outshooting Sweden 10-4 and getting some good opportunities. Lauren Cheney got five corner kick attempts in the first half, one that Wambach flicked just wide of the goal in the 17th minute. Carli Lloyd and Heather O'Reilly got back-to-back shots in the 26th minute that Hammarstrom saved.

In the 41st minute, Cheney found Shannon Boxx in front of the goal box, but her shot from about 20 yards out hit the crossbar.


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