Sweden dominate Portugal, hitting top gear at Euros just in time for the knockout rounds

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LEIGH, England — Every single significant event has a slow starter, a group that struggles to justify leading billing until eventually the tension to produce needs they reside up to the hoopla, but Sweden finally clicked into equipment at Euro 2022 to e book their quarterfinal spot with a 5- win in opposition to Portugal.

Although the superb team-stage performances of host country England and eight-time European champions Germany have rightly earned the highlight — both groups have a 100% winning record with no conceding a intention so significantly — it was Sweden that went into this match as Europe’s best-ranked nation. Only the United States sit previously mentioned Sweden in the FIFA women’s entire world rankings, and Peter Gerhardsson’s group is stacked with players from major golf equipment these as Manchester City, Chelsea, Juventus, Barcelona and German champions Wolfsburg.

Even with their pedigree, while, Sweden went into their final Group C video game towards Portugal still needing a optimistic consequence to secure a put in the knockout stages.

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A 1-1 draw towards the Netherlands, the reigning champions, in the opening match was adopted by a tense 2-1 victory in opposition to Switzerland in which Hanna Bennison‘s late goal sealed a considerably-desired earn. But in both game titles, Sweden struggled to screen the sort that has them rated next in the planet. Nevertheless, their longevity and take care of ensured they at least confronted Portugal in Leigh with their qualification destiny in their possess hands.

Portugal, who were being only verified as Euro 2022 individuals at the starting of May perhaps as a late substitution next Russia’s expulsion, have been a shock package deal in the level of competition, with an opening-video game attract versus Switzerland and slim 3-2 defeat against the Dutch guaranteeing they had an outside the house opportunity of qualification with a gain in opposition to the Swedes. But it was clear from the begin of this match, performed in punishing warmth of 32 levels Celsius in the northwest, that there was a obvious gulf in class concerning the two sides. Sweden were being physically more powerful, far more skillful and greater organised than their opponents, who sit at 30th in the earth rankings.

The sport commenced with a wave of Swedish assaults and continued in that method, with the Scandinavians scoring at normal intervals to consider finish regulate of the match, and in the end, the team.

Portugal have been capable to maintain out until eventually the 21st minute, when a error by goalkeeper Patricia Morais gifted Filippa Angeldal the opening target. Morais came to claim a corner, but dropped the ball in the 6-lawn box, ensuing in an uncomplicated finish for the Manchester Town midfielder.

Angeldal then doubled Sweden’s lead on 45 minutes by ending off a nicely-labored free of charge-kick schedule. Captain Kosovare Asllani looked set to deliver her established piece into the Portugal penalty spot, but she instead pulled it back again for the unmarked Angeldal, who scored with a 1st-time shot from the edge of the box.

Portugal lacked the good quality to get back into the activity with Sweden dominating in just about every region of the pitch, and following Angeldal’s next, it was a scenario of damage limitation for Francisco Neto’s team. By 50 %-time, Portugal ended up 3- down right after a different failure by Morais to capture the ball from a corner resulted in an have-purpose by Carole Costa.

Sweden at that position ended up in total command, with their group place only dependent on the result of the Netherlands-Switzerland sport in Sheffield. But a relaxed get would assure Sweden of major place, and a quarterfinal at Leigh in opposition to Iceland, Italy or Belgium on Friday, so they pushed for much more aims in the 2nd fifty percent. They designed it 4- on 53 minutes when Asllani scored from the penalty spot pursuing a handball by Diana Gomes.

Stina Blackstenius observed a aim dominated out for offside as Sweden lifted the tempo, but the Arsenal forward ultimately bought her name on the scoresheet in the 90th minute just after breaking into the Portugal penalty spot before beating Morais with a suitable-footed strike from 15 yards.

With a top location secured in Group C, Sweden is assured to prevent France in the previous eight, and they will be heavily favored in their quarterfinal tie, whoever they deal with later on this week.

And just after Sunday’s ruthless exhibit, Sweden can now develop the momentum needed to get this event for the initially time since 1984.

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