Sweden booked its place in the round of 16 with a thumping win over Italy.
Sweden advanced to the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup thanks to a thumping 5-0 win over Italy.
A disjointed Sweden needed a 90th-minute winner to edge past South Africa in its opening Group G match, but the team looked back to its best at times against Italy as three late first-half goals ended the game as a contest.
After battling well for much of the opening 45 minutes, Italy’s resistance was finally broken six minutes before half time as Amanda Ilestedt lost her marker to head home from a corner kick.
That goal opened the floodgates for Sweden, which doubled its lead five minutes later through Fridolina Rolfö after yet more sloppy Italian defending from a corner. Stina Blackstenius then made it 3-0 in stoppage time, tapping home after a sweeping Swedish attack.
A corner kick proved to be Italy’s undoing for a third time just five minutes into the second half. It was Ilestedt again who stole in at the near post to head past goalkeeper Francesca Durante for her second of the match.
Sweden added more gloss to the scoreline in injury time through Rebecka Blomqvist, who latched onto a long ball and calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing Durante.
More to follow…