Sweden dominates Italy 5-0, secures World Cup knockout spot | Women’s World Cup

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Although a blow to Italy’s confidence, the team can still advance to the last 16 by beating South Africa.

Sweden dominated Italy with a 5-0 win as it booked its spot in the Women’s World Cup knockout stage with a match to spare.

With the win on Saturday, the third-ranked Swedes join title contenders Spain and former champions Japan in reaching the knockout rounds.

Arsenal defender Amanda Ilestedt scored twice, with Fridolina Rolfo, Stina Blackstenius and Rebecka Blomqvist also on the scoresheet.

“I’m impressed – it’s not the first time I’m impressed by these players by the way,” Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson told reporters. “It’s ingrained in their mentality somewhere to just keep going.”

Italy dominated possession early on but could not deal with the Swedish aerial threat at corners, making it their worst defeat in a World Cup match.

Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic had to act swiftly to save forward Sofia Cantore’s shot in the first minute, followed by another from the Juventus forward in the 17th.

Rolfo got her second goal of the match not too long after with a flick off her knee from close range as the Italian defence struggled.

The third goal came from open play in first-half stoppage time when Johanna Kaneryd broke down the right flank and crossed the ball to Blackstenius just in time for the striker to finish.

Ilestedt’s second goal in the 50th minute was a carbon copy of the first, as the Arsenal defender headed another into the net off a corner from Andersson.

The last Sweden goal came at the end of the match when Blomqvist raced clear of the Italian defenders and buried the ball in the bottom left corner of the net.

“They have a lot of weapons, a lot of arrows in their quiver. The first half-hour we actually gave them a hard time,” Italy coach Milena Bertolini told reporters.

“Then we spread out and when you’re not compact, when you’re playing a team like Sweden, then you’re faced with difficulties.”

Although a blow to Italy’s confidence, the team can still advance to the last 16 by avoiding defeat in their final Group G fixture against South Africa on Wednesday.

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