Sweden Edge Christine Sinclair, Canada, Advance to Women's World Cup Quarters

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIJune 24, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 24: Stina Blackstenius of Sweden Women celebrates 1-0 with Kosovare Asllani of Sweden Women  during the  World Cup Women  match between Sweden  v Canada  at the Parc des Princes on June 24, 2019 in Paris France (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Sweden made it through to the quarter-finals of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on Monday after a 1-0 win over Canada.  

The first half was a dull affair with defences very much on top and neither team able to carve out a clear goalscoring opportunity.

The deadlock was finally broken 10 minutes after half-time from a quick Sweden counter-attack.

Kosovare Asllani raced forward and produced a fine pass through to Stina Blackstenius to prod the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.

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Canada were presented with a great chance to equalise on 68 minutes when Asllani conceded a penalty for handball. However, Janine Beckie's shot was pushed around the post by goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

Sweden came close to doubling their lead in the closing stages. Peter Gerhardsson's side had a penalty ruled out after a VAR check spotted an offside in the build-up and then saw an Asllani effort cleared off the line.

The Swedes made five changes to the team that lost 2-0 to the United States in their final group game, while Canada replaced Jordyn Huitema with Nichelle Prince:

The first half was a disappointing affair with both attacks struggling. The closest Canada come to posing a threat was from a couple of early corners, while Sweden's brightest moment was a shot dragged wide by Sofia Jakobsson.

Match of the Day noted the lack of excitement: 

Even Canada captain Christine Sinclair's finishing was wayward. The 36-year-old captain tried her luck early in the second half with a free-kick that sailed wide of the post.

The deadlock was finally broken on 55 minutes as Sweden intercepted a poor pass deep in the Canada half and played the ball out to Asllani. The striker raced forward and bent a superb pass to Blackstenius to poke home the opener:

Opta noted how the goal was the game's first shot on target:

The goal was exactly what the game needed, as both teams finally began to create chances. Sweden's Fridolina Rolfo fired a powerful shot just wide, while Allysha Chapman headed just wide at the other end.

Canada then won a penalty after Desiree Scott's shot struck Asllani's arm inside the area.

Up stepped Beckie, but she was denied by Lindahl, who dived to her right and pushed her effort around the post:

Sweden thought they had won a penalty of their own inside the final 10 minutes when Ashley Lawrence brought down Rolfo, but the decision was overturned by VAR due to an offside in the build-up.

Scott then saved Canada again with a fine goal-line clearance from Asllani's volley, but Kenneth Heiner-Moller's side could not find a late equaliser and head out of the tournament.

    

What's Next?

Sweden go on to face Germany in the quarter-finals of the competition on Saturday at Roazhon Park in Rennes.

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