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WPS players capture European berths
by Paul Kennedy, September 16th, 2010 6:57PM

TAGS:  england, france, norway, sweden, women's world cup, wps


[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Current or WPS players scored goals to lead England, France and Norway into the 2011 Women's World Cup finals in Germany, while Sweden, which started four WPS players, captured the fourth European berth with a late rally at Denmark.

ENGLAND. England got goals from Kelly Smith (Boston) and Eniola Aluko (Atlanta) and cruised to a 3-2 win at Switzerland that sent it through to the finals by a 5-2 aggregate score. Alex Scott (Boston) and Katie Chapman (Chicago) also started for England in a game marred by the controversial sending off of England goalie Rachel Brown for allegedly pushing the Atlanta Beat's Ramona Bachmann in a scramble for the ball.

FRANCE. The Washington Freedom's Sonia Bompastor had the insurance goal as France rallied from 1-0 down at the half and beat Italy, 3-2, on the road and advanced to the finals for only the second time by the same score on aggregate. FC Gold Pride midfielder Camille Abily and Bompastor, who are both headed back to French club Lyon after the WPS season, started for the Bleues.

NORWAY. Solveig Gulbrandsen, who left FC Gold Pride midway through her first season to return home, scored in the Norwegians' 2-0 win over Ukraine that put them through to the finals for the sixth straight time, 3-0, on aggregate. Washington's Lene Mykjaland also started in midfield for Norway.

SWEDEN. The Swedes took a 2-1 lead into their return game with Denmark in Vejle but fell behind on two goals at the end of the first half. Defender Charlotte Rohlin scored two late goals, the second four minutes into stoppage time, to even the score at 2-2 and send Sweden through to the finals, 4-3, on aggregate. Four WPS players started for Sweden: Sara Larsson (Philadelphia), Kosovare Asllani (Chicago), Caroline Seger (Philadelphia) and Jessica Landstrom (Sky Blue FC).

The four losers move into the two-round European playoffs. The winner will meet the Concacaf third-place team for a berth in next year's finals.

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