Sweden doubles up Australia, stays perfect in women's soccer

Posted at 4:50 AM, Jul 24, 2021

Sweden built on its tournament-opening defeat of Team USA when it handed Australia 4-2 loss in a terrific women's soccer match at Saitama Stadium on Saturday.

Fridolina Rolfo scored twice for the victors, who got two assists from Sofia Jakobsson and goals from Stina Blackstenius and Lina Hurtig.

Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl stopped an Australian penalty and also made a 1v1 stop on outstanding Sam Kerr, who scored both of Australia's goals.

It was a match-up of 1-0 teams and Australia came out on the losing end.

It wasn't all good news for Sweden, as Blackstenius limped off the pitch with a stoppage-time injury that required plenty of attention from trainers.

Australia will meet Team USA in its final group stage match, while Sweden will look to stay perfect when it goes up against New Zealand.

Sweden went ahead through Rolfo, who was positioned centrally to smash Sofia Jakobsson's cutback into the goal in the 20th minute.

But Chelsea star Sam Kerr tied the score and just, as Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl got a piece of her header but not enough to stop the ball from crossing the line. Kyah Simon registered the assist.

Kerr looked to have won a penalty just before halftime but the Video Assistant Referee system did not judge her fall in the box as being worthy of a spot kick.

The goals kept coming, as Kerr scored her second goal of the match just after the break only to see Sweden find an equalizer of its own through a lunging Lina Hurtig. Jakobsson again had the assist.

And Sweden reclaimed the lead on a stunning left-footed strike from Rolfo, her second of the match.

That was far from the end of the drama, as Australia found its way to the penalty spot. Sweden's Lindahl, one of the stars of the 2016 Olympics, denied Kerr her hat trick with 22 minutes left in Tokyo and then repeated the feat from open play.