Tancredi sends Canada into quarters in women's soccer

Melissa Tancredi scored twice as Canada rallied for a 2-2 tie against Sweden on Tuesday to clinch a quarterfinal berth in women's Olympic Soccer.

Marie Hammarstrom and Sofia Jakobsson scored in a 2-minute span in the opening half, but Tancredi scored just before halftime and added her second goal with 6 minutes remaining.

Canada needed at least a draw to secure a spot in the last eight as the third- place squad from Group F. The top two third-place teams from the three groups, in addition to the top two finishers in each group, advance to the last eight.

Sweden still won the group, and Japan finished second after a 0-0 draw against South Africa in Cardiff, Wales.

Canada will play the winner of Group G, the United States, or Group E, either Brazil or Great Britain, in the quarterfinals Friday.

Canada had a couple early chances at St James' Park, including a chance from Jonelle Filigno that was cleared off the line by a Sweden defender.

Sweden settled in after the slow start and Hammarstrom opened the scoring with 14 minutes played. She reached a cross from the right and directed a shot from 6 yards past Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

Before the Canadians could regroup, Jakobsson added a second for the Swedes in the 16th minute. Jakobsson reached a cross from the left that went past McLeod and a defender and left an easy finish at the far post.

With a defeat, Canada would have needed results in other matches later Tuesday to fall its way to advance.

Tancredi made those matches irrelevant.

She pulled the first goal back in the 43rd when she ran onto a cross from the right and struck a half-volley from 5 yards to the right post.

Canada opened the second half well also as Tancredi and Filigno both had early chances, but the former was saved Sweden goalie Hedvig Lindahl and the later was cleared by a defender.

The Canadians finally broke through for the equalizer 6 minutes from time, and captain Christine Sinclair - who scored twice in a 3-0 win over South Africa - delivered the winning assist. Tancredi met the cross from the right on the far side and turned a header inside the right post.

Sweden will play Group G runner-up France, and Japan will play the runner-up from Group E, either Brazil or Great Britain, in the quarterfinals.