Sweden announced their arrival at Euro 2022 with a thumping 5-0 victory over Portugal at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday evening.
Having been among the selection of pre-tournament favourites, the Swedes had looked unconvincing in the opening two group stage matches, but went up several gears to book their place in the knockout stages as group winners. A Filippa Angeldal brace, Carole Costa own goal, Kosovare Asllani penalty and Stina Blackstenius strike saw Sweden to a comfortable victory at Leigh Sports Village, as Portugal crashed out.
Sweden started quickly and found themselves through on goal inside three minutes, but Ana Borges was on hand to make a superb recovery tackle just as Asllani was shaping up to pull the trigger.
The Portugal goal continued to live a charmed life, with a big save from Euro 2022 debutant Patricia Morais required to keep out Johanna Rytting Kaneryd.
The deadlock was broken after 21 minutes as Morais flapped at a Jonna Andersson corner, palming it just as far as Angeldal on the edge of the six yard box, who slammed home.
Angeldal had a second from another set piece on 24 minutes later. Asllani cleverly laid a free kick back to the Manchester City midfielder lurking on the edge of the box, and she finished beautifully.
Sweden completed their set piece hat-trick on the stroke of half time as Andersson’s in-swinging corner was headed into her own net by Costa.
Peter Gerhardsson’s extended their lead nine minutes after the restart, Asllani capping a fabulous individual display with a goal from the penalty spot after Fridolina Rolfo’s cross was blocked by the outstretched arm of Diane Silva.
Stina Blackstenius found the top corner expertly in second half stoppage time as Sweden sent out a statement of intent to the rest of the competition.
The victory sees Sweden avoid France in the quarter finals, and they will play the Group D runner up at Leigh Sports Village on Friday.
GK: Hedvig Lindahl – 6/10 – Hardly had a save to make. Comfortable with the ball at her feet.
RB: Hanna Glas – 6/10 – Won Sweden’s penalty for the fourth goal after her cross was handled in the box. Had a great battle with Silva down the right flank.
CB: Amanda llestedt – 6/10 – Didn’t have a great deal to do defensively but hardly put a foot wrong.
CB: Magdalena Eriksson – 6/10 – Typically steady, rarely tested defensively before being replaced 10 minutes into the second half.
LB: Jonna Andersson – 8/10 – Swung in a pair of teasing corner deliveries from which Sweden netted their first and third goals. Her set pieces were a thorn in the side throughout.
CM: Nathalie Bjorn – 7/10 – Calm and composed in possession, strong and dependable to enable Angeldal and Asllani to roam so effectively. Forced off with injury with 12 minutes remaining.
CM: Filippa Angeldal – 9/10 – Popped up at the right place at the right time to slot home a measured finish to give Sweden the lead, before crashing home a superb third for her side. Ruthless with a pair of difficult finishes.
CAM: Kosovare Asllani – 9/10 – Fabulously smart link up play – unfortunate that Blackstenius has strayed marginally offside after playing her through with a delicious flick. Awesome in tight areas. Set up the second with a cleverly worked free kick and scored from the penalty spot.
RW: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd – 8/10 – Superb feet, really direct and dangerous. Denied a goal to cap her fine performance on two occasions by a pair of excellent Morais saves. Replaced 10 minutes into the second half.
ST: Stina Blackstenius – 8/10 – Denied goals by the offside flag, a pair of fine Morais saves and VAR, before crashing home expertly in second half stoppage time. A constant threat in behind, awesome link up play.
LW: Fridolina Rolfo – 6/10 – Could have got on the scoresheet herself but headed a good chance just over. Replaced with 20 minutes remaining.
SUB: Linda Sembrant – 6/10
SUB: Olivia Schough – 6/10
SUB: Hanna Bennison – 6/10
SUB: Lina Hurtig – 6/10
SUB: Elin Rubensson – 6/10
GK: Patricia Morais – 6/10 – Making her first Euro 2022 appearance, produced a pair of big saves in the first half to keep out Rytting Kaneryd. Flapped at the corner in the build up to Sweden’s opener, before making another impressive save to keep out Blackstenius.
RB: Catarina Amado – 6/10 – Had looked a real threat for Portugal bombing forward down the right flank, but was sadly stretchered off with a foot injury after half an hour, having been on the receiving end of a crunching challenge.
CB: Diana Gomes – 4/10 – Couldn’t contend with Sweden’s set piece threat or their pace in behind.
CB: Carole Costa – 4/10 – Struggled to deal with Sweden’s set piece threat, heading into her own net for the opposition’s third. Run ragged by Blackstenius.
LB: Ana Borges – 6/10 – Traditionally a forward by trade, dropped into left back and made a fabulous last ditch tackle to keep out Asllani in the opening exchanges. Dogged and determined.
CM: Tatiana Pinto – 6/10 – Offered the backline little protection, couldn’t deal with the intelligence of Asllani. Good in possession with flashes of trickery.
CM: Dolores Sliva – 5/10 – Struggled to get a foothold in the game and deal with Sweden’s dynamic midfield. Replaced in the second half.
CM: Andrea Norton – 5/10 – Portugal lost the midfield battle against Sweden’s impressive midfield three.
RW: Jessica Silva – 7/10 – Plenty of flair, skill and imagination. Bent Portugal’s best sighting of goal in the second half wide, after creating the opening herself with some clever footwork. Portugal’s bright spark.
ST: Francisca Nazareth – 5/10 – Largely starved of service and unable to have an attacking influence on the game.
LW: Diana Silva – 6/10 – Full of tricks and flicks. Conceded a penalty after the ball struck her outstretched arm in the second half.
SUB: Joana Marchão – 5/10
SUB: Fátima Pinto – 5/10
SUB: Andreia Faria – 5/10
SUB: Sílvia Rebelo – N/A
SUB: Telma Encarnação – N/A