Six days before the World Cup opened, Sweden and Romania played a tuneup at Trabuco Hills High in Mission Viejo. Gheorghe Hagi scored with 15 minutes to play to lead Romania in a 1-1 tie.
Little did the players and coaches know that almost a month later they would be playing again for the right to play Brazil in Wednesday's semifinal at the Rose Bowl.
Playing on a warm afternoon before almost 3,000 in June, the teams looked as if they were sparring instead of pressuring. During one point in the first half, Hagi stopped running toward a ball, turned to the Romanian contingent that was yelling at him and shouted back. The crowd laughed.
Sweden's only draw since then was in Group B play against Brazil, its next opponent.