- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top-ranked Germany jumped out to a quick lead in the opening minutes but Sweden scored four unanswered goals for a 4-2 victory to open the women’s Algarve Cup in Portugal on Wednesday.

Sophia Jacobsson and Caroline Seger each scored twice for Sweden, ranked No. 5 in the world. The annual tournament in the Algarve region is serving this year as a tuneup for the Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Nine of the 12 teams in the Algarve Cup field are headed to the World Cup, including the top five teams in the FIFA rankings.

In other matches that opened the group stage on Wednesday, defending Women’s World Cup champion Japan fell in a 2-1 upset to Denmark. Johanna Rasmussen scored the go-ahead goal in the 58th minute.

Ranked No. 16 in the world by soccer’s international governing body, Denmark did not qualify for this year’s World Cup. Fourth-ranked Japan defeated the United States on penalty kicks in the 2011 World Cup in Germany.

The United States, No. 2 in the FIFA rankings, came from behind to beat Norway 2-1 on a pair of goals from Carli Lloyd.

France, which beat the United States in an exhibition last month, defeated host Portugal 1-0 on Eugenie Le Sommer’s goal in the 65th minute, and Switzerland beat Iceland 2-0. Brazil and China played to a scoreless draw.

The group stage continues Friday at several venues across the region. The tournament, in its 22nd year, has a new format this year that gives all the teams playing in the group stage a chance to play in the final. In previous years lower-tier teams could only play for spots in the placement matches.

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