Sweden dances into third place

Associated PressJuly 17, 2011 

— Marie Hammarstrom scored in the 82nd minute to give short-handed Sweden a 2-1 victory over France in the third-place game at the Women's World Cup on Saturday.

Down a player for almost 15 minutes after Josefine Oqvist was sent off for kicking Sonia Bompastor in the chest, Sweden won a corner kick that the French managed to clear at the near post. But the ball popped out to Hammarstrom, who faked out a defender with a small side-volley, touched the ball a second time and then let fly with a thunderous left-footed strike from the edge of the penalty area

It was Hammarstrom's first-ever goal for Sweden, and it allowed the Swedes to do the hippity-hoppity dance that's become their trademark one last time.

Lotta Schelin staked Sweden to an early lead, scoring her second goal of the tournament in the 29th. Sara Larsson booted the ball from about midfield, and Schelin, running at a dead sprint, caught up to it at the edge of the box. As France goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz rushed out, Schelin deftly flicked it into the net with the outside of her right foot.

The two then collided, and Sapowicz came down on the outside of her right ankle. She immediately fell to the ground and was soon removed from the game.

Despite losing silky smooth playmaker Louisa Necib to an injury in the 32nd, France managed to equalize in the 56th. Blanketed by three defenders, Gaetane Thiney lost the ball but quickly managed to reclaim it and slide it to Elodie Thomas, who had replaced Necib. Thomas skipped a shot along the ground that was just beyond goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

Note: North Korea is blaming soccer's worst doping scandal in almost two decades on using steroid-laced medicine from musk deer glands to treat injuries from a lightning strike at a training camp for the Women's World Cup.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Saturday that after two North Korean players were caught during the tournament, three more positive results came in when the world football federation took the unprecedented decision to test all members of the squad.

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