After winning at the last minute against South Africa, Sweden left nothing to chance on Saturday, crushing Italy 5-0 to seal their place in the round of 16 of the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Amanda Ilestedt, the architect of the victory against the South Africans in stoppage time, was in charge of opening the account for Sweden on 39 minutes, and her header from a corner kick triggered a flurry of four goals from the Nordics in 11 minutes before and after the break. She completed her double at 50 with a target that mirrored her first.
Rebecka Blomqvist rounded off the result with Sweden’s fifth goal in stoppage time, after those scored by Fridolina Rolfo and Stina Blackstenius.
The Swedish attack was hesitant again in the first 20 minutes. Italy were calmer on the ball and seemed to bring more danger to the opposing goal, especially with Sofia Cantore on the right. The first scoring chance came from her boots in the opening minute, and the Italians had five shots on target before Sweden’s first.
But as the first half progressed, Sweden became more composed and organized and became relentless.
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