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Archive for Thursday, June 13, 2002

Argentina eliminated

Swedes bounce World Cup favorites

June 13, 2002

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— For soccer fans expecting a France-Argentina final, tune in four years down the road. Maybe it will happen then, but in this World Cup, both soccer powers couldn't advance past the first round.

The defending-champion French going out without even scoring was shocking enough before tournament favorite Argentina was eliminated Wednesday by Sweden. The Argentines failed to advance for the first time in 40 years.

Sweden's Anders Svensson is lifted off the ground by teammate
Daniel Andersson. The Swedes tied Argentina, 1-1, on Wednesday at
Miyagi, Japan, and advanced to the second round.

Sweden's Anders Svensson is lifted off the ground by teammate Daniel Andersson. The Swedes tied Argentina, 1-1, on Wednesday at Miyagi, Japan, and advanced to the second round.

"We've lost a dream to win the championship," Juan Veron said, "and it was one we shared with all Argentines."

The dream was shattered by the Swedes, who held Argentina to a 1-1 tie at Miyagi, Japan. Sweden won Group F and will play Senegal on Sunday in Oita, Japan.

England finished second in the sector after tying Nigeria 0-0 and plays Denmark on Saturday in Niigata, Japan.

"Now we have advanced and we're very happy," Sweden's Henrik Larsson said. "But we can't afford to be satisfied. We have to concentrate hard on the next game. Senegal has a good team. They beat France 1-0 and it means you have to respect them, although France didn't have a good tournament."

Nor did Argentina, which fell out mainly because of a 1-0 loss to archrival England.

"There have been a lot of surprises in this World Cup so far," England captain David Beckham said. "Two of the biggest threats to any team have gone out, France and Argentina. So it does open it up a lot. And I am sure there will be a few more surprises along the way."

The United States would like to be one of those surprise teams. It needs at least a tie against Poland on Friday in Daejeon, South Korea.

"Hopefully, we can win and get first place in the group, which is unheard of," midfielder DaMarcus Beasley said.

As unheard of as what happened to Argentina.

Anders Svensson scored on a free kick in the 59th minute and Sweden held on to the tie after Hernan Crespo put in the rebound when goalkeeper Magnus Hedman stopped Ariel Ortega's penalty kick in the 88th.

Paraguay also advanced. Paraguay scored three times in the second half to take second place in Group B with a 3-1 win over Slovenia at Seogwipo, South Korea. Spain, already into the second round, beat South Africa 3-2 at Daejeon, giving Paraguay the edge over South Africa on goals scored, 6-5.

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