Sweden put on a stunning display to overpower their Group G rivals, Italy, and secure a spot in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup with a game to spare. Demonstrating why they are considered heavyweights in women’s football, the 2019 semi-finalists scored three goals in a breathtaking seven-minute spell at the end of the first half.
Amanda Ilestedt, recently signed by Arsenal, opened the scoring with a well-placed header from Jonna Andersson’s corner. Fridolina Rolfo, who had won the Champions League with Barcelona, then extended the lead with a clever knee finish after another corner. Stina Blackstenius, also an Arsenal player, added a third goal from close range, leaving Italy reeling.
In front of a crowd of 29,143 spectators, the situation worsened for Italy when Amanda Ilestedt netted her third goal of the tournament with yet another header from a corner, making it 4-0 for Sweden. The scoring did not end there, as substitute Rebecka Blomqvist found the net in the 95th minute, sealing a resounding 5-0 victory for Sweden.
With this impressive win, Sweden has earned a place in the knockout stage, where they will face one of the tough opponents: the United States, the Netherlands, or Portugal. Meanwhile, Italy, currently in second place in the group with three points from two games, must secure a win against South Africa in their upcoming match to ensure their progression in the tournament.