July 18, 2022

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Five-star Sweden advances to quarters as set pieces sink Portugal

LEIGH, England — Sweden finished their women’s European Championship group campaign with a statement 5-0 drubbing of Portugal on Sunday to top Group C ahead of the Netherlands and advance to the quarterfinals.

Sweden, who will meet the runner-up of Group D in the last-eight, topped the group on goal difference after the Netherlands beat Switzerland 4-1 to join them on seven points.

The Scandinavian side needed just a draw to advance but they showed signs of peaking at the right time and were ruthless when presented with opportunities to score, with the first four goals all coming from set pieces.

“It feels really good to have a good game with a lot of goals and that we are top of the group,” Sweden’s Nathalie Bjorn said.

“We know that we are good offensively and today, we showed that we should not be counted out. We have only just started.”

Filippa Angeldal scored twice in the opening half, first pouncing on a weak clearance from a corner to guide the ball into the net before the unmarked midfielder curled home a first-time effort from the edge of the box after a short free kick.

Goalkeeper Patricia Morais made a couple of decent saves to keep Portugal in the game but Sweden were relentless.

Another corner just before half time had Portugal defender Carole Costa turn the ball into her own net under pressure from Sweden’s Amanda Ilestedt.

Sweden continued to dominate proceedings after the break and a penalty for a handball in the box allowed Kosovare Asllani to score from the spot past a diving Morais who guessed the right way.

Another effort from a well-worked free kick was ruled out by VAR for offside, but Sweden finally scored from open play when Stina Blackstenius finished a flowing move in injury time by curling her shot into the top corner. — Reuters