World number one women's team Germany and defending World Cup winners Japan both lost their opening matches at the women's Algarve Cup in Portugal. The US team also just scraped a win.
Top-ranked Germany went to an early lead in their match against Sweden but ended up losing 4-2 on the opening day at the unofficial World Cup warmup tournament, the Algarve Cup.
Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan and Simone Laudehr managed to score in the second and third minutes of the game respectively to give the two-time World Cup winners an early advantage. But Sweden's Caroline Seger scored before half time and then added another in the second half, while teammate Sofia Jakobsson made sure of the win for Sweden with two goals of her own.
In other matches of the group stage on Wednesday, defending Women's World Cup champions Japan lost in a 2-1 upset to Denmark. Johanna Rasmussen scored the deciding goal in the 58th minute. Ranked number 16 in the world by soccer's international governing body, FIFA, Denmark did not qualify for this year's Women's World Cup in Canada.
Elsewhere, women's soccer powerhouse the United States came from behind to beat Norway 2-1 after a brace of goals from Carli Lloyd. France, who beat the United States in an exhibition game last month, defeated hosts Portugal 1-0 and Switzerland beat Iceland 2-0. Brazil and China played to a scoreless draw.
The annual tournament in the Algarve region is serving this year as a tuneup for the Women's World Cup in Canada, due to take place in June. Nine of the 12 teams in the competition are heading to Canada, including the top five teams in the FIFA rankings. The group stage continues Friday at several venues across the region.
al/apc (AP, SID)