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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Previewing final games in Groups C, D


The finale of round-robin play in Groups C and D features a clash of traditional powers for the top place in Group C as the United States and Sweden meet with perfect records. Five different players, none of whom play forward, have scored goals for the United States, which needs only a draw to win the group thanks to superior goal differential. Four of the five goal scorers recorded their first career Women's World Cup goals. Finishing has been an issue for Sweden. Forward Lotta Schelin has 11 shots but only four have been on target and she has yet to score a goal at this tournament. In Group D, Brazil can finish its group stage with a perfect record with a win against Equatorial Guinea, while Norway and Australia will battle to see which side moves into the quarterfinals along with Brazil.

•  U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo has five consecutive shutouts at the Women's World Cup. She has a 478-minute shutout streak, the second-longest streak in Women's World Cup history behind Germany's Nadine Angerer (622 minutes, 2007-2011). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Solo has posted a shutout in each of her last eight starts overall, dating back to March 2010. Solo's current scoreless streak of 781 minutes.

•  Pia Sundhage will be the third coach to oppose the country of his or her birth at the Women's World Cup and could be the first to beat her native country, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The first two were Even Pellerud, who led Canada against Norway in 2007 (a 21 loss), and John Herdman, whose New Zealand team lost to England 21 on Friday. Sundhage appeared in 10 Women's World Cup matches for Sweden in 1991 and 1995, scoring five goals. One of the matches she appeared in was Sweden's first-ever Women's World Cup match against the United States, a 3-2 American win in the 1991 group stage.

•  Sweden will be without midfielder Caroline Seger after she received her second yellow card of the tournament Saturday against North Korea. Seger controlled play with a game-high 110 touches and completed 75.4 percent of her passes against North Korea.

•  Abby Wambach is still chasing her first goal of the tournament, but she has been effective in other ways. She assisted on Lauren Cheney's goal against North Korea and has created space for other players. Wambach does have seven goals in her past seven matches against Sweden.

•  Five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta played a part in each of Brazil's goals in its 3-0 win Sunday against Norway. Marta finished with 76 touches, completed 28 of 35 passes (80 percent), took three shots (scoring on two) and created three scoring chances for teammates, which included Rosana's second goal of the tournament in the 46th minute.