Sweden advance in Women’s World Cup

Sports Desk, Jul 29 (EFE).- Sweden hammered Italy 5-0 to become the first team to advance to the knockout stage at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The Swedes, who finished third in 2019 behind the United States, booked one of the two Group G spots in the round of 16, while Italy – on 3 points – will need at least a draw against South Africa (1 point) in the final group stage match to remain in the competition.

Italy were better in the opening minutes of the match in Wellington, but the Swedes exploded for three goals in the space of seven minutes to take a 3-0 lead to the dressing room at the break.

Amanda Ilestedt opened the scoring in the 39th minute with a header off a corner and Fridolina Rolfo doubled the advantage in the 44th, again from a corner.

Stina Blackstenius added a goal in first-half stoppage time.

Ilestedt made it 4-0 five minutes into the second half with her third goal of the tournament. Sub Rebecka Blomqvist scored in the 95th minute as the Italian women shipped five goals for the first time ever.

In Brisbane, France rebounded from a scoreless draw in their opener against Jamaica to beat Brazil 2-1 and claim first place in Group F.

Eugenie Le Sommer scored in the 17th minute to become the first French woman with goals in three different World Cup tournaments.

Debinha broke through for Brazil in the 58th minute, but Les Bleues captain Wendie Renard got her head to a corner in the 83rd and France held on for the win.

The French improved to 4 points and lead the group by virtue of scoring more goals than Jamaica, who nipped Panama 1-0 to eliminate the Central American nation from the competition.

After a scoreless first half at HBF Park in Perth, team captain Allyson Swaby made it 1-0 for the Jamaicans in the 56th minute and one goal turned out to be enough to vault the Reggae Girlz into contention for a berth in the knockout stage.

Now third in Group F, Brazil face a must-win clash with Jamaica in the final group stage match.

EFE plm/dr

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