A three-goal blitz just before halftime helped Sweden to a dominant 5-0 win over Italy in Wellington on Saturday as it booked its spot in the Women’s World Cup knockout stage with a match to spare.
Amanda Ilestedt scored the first of her two goals in the 39th minute when she got up well to head home Jonna Andersson’s corner and further efforts from Fridolina Rolfo and Stina Blackstenius inside seven minutes ended the match as a contest.
Ilestedt found the net once again shortly after halftime and substitute Rebecka Blomqvist completed the rout in stoppage time.
Italy dominated possession early on but could not deal with the Swedish aerial threat at corners and the 2003 runners-up handed them their worst defeat in a World Cup match.
Although a hammer blow to Italy’s confidence, it can still advance to the last 16 by avoiding defeat in its final Group G fixture against South Africa on Wednesday.
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