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Stars and Subs: Sweden tops U.S., Australia through to quarterfinals

Group play has finally wrapped up and all four quarterfinalists are set for the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Here is a look at the day’s top performers and underachievers:


  1. Kyah Simon – The Australian striker was clutch for the Matildas in the only game of the day that actually featured two teams whose quarterfinal fates were not pre-determined entering the day. Simon, who just turned 20-years-old, scored twice for the Matildas to lead them to a 2-1 win over Norway and a spot in the quarterfinals. Plus, some media dude picked Simon as his breakout player of the tournament. Weird.
  2. Cristiane – The Brazilian striker scored twice (once from the PK spot in stoppage time) to lead Brazil to a 3-0 win over Equatorial Guinea.
  3. Nilla Fischer – Missing its captain Caroline Seger meant nothing for Sweden. The squad played its best soccer of the tournament to date and Fischer filled in for Seger beautifully. There is no doubt she played a role in the win (even beyond her free kick goal that was more of an own goal by Amy LePeilbet than anything else).
  4. Lisa De Vanna – She was Australia’s most active and dangerous player and helped set-up Simon on the Matildas’ first goal.


  1. Amy LePeilbet – Things just did not go her way on Wednesday. The American center back turned left back gave up the penalty on the first goal and deflected in the second goal. Truthfully, it is tough to be too hard on LePeilbet who is one of the best center backs in WPS but just not suited to be a left back (but keeps getting placed there).
  2. Servet Uzunlar – The Australian defender was yet again responsible (for the third straight goal Australia has conceded) for a mix up in the back that led to a goal. It’s been a nightmare tournament for her and one has to wonder how long it will take for Matildas skipper Tom Sermanni to drop her from the line-up. Sweden will pick her apart.
  3. Ricardo Rozo – The Colombian manager did not give us another chance to see what Yoreli Rincon or Lady Andrade are made of. Against an even younger North Korea side, that could have been entertaining. It’s a shame that neither featured and the match ended 0-0. But hey, his team did get its first-ever Women’s World Cup point.

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