When Sweden and Australia faced each other in the group stage at the Olympics last week, Sweden won 4-2.
And in today’s semi-final in Yokohama, Sweden entered as a candidate. But it was a temporary start for both teams. Instead of taking the lead in the match, two teams knew each other.
Sweden also did not have the same attacking speed as in previous matches during the Olympics. Australia effectively eliminated Kosovar Aslani and then the speed in the attack disappeared.
But in the 23rd minute, Fridolina Rulfo hit a giant shot. Australia was saved by the crossbar.
Then it was Australia’s turn and Alana Kennedy to fire a left-footed free kick, but Hedvig Lindahl was right into the Swedish goal.
Shortly thereafter, there was new drama when Kyah Simon netted a free kick to Sam Kerr who clearly put the ball in the net.
But the referee blew his whistle – aimlessly.
– I can’t see why they explode. I’m not a trained judge, but we’re in luck, Lisa Dalqvist says on a Channel 5 broadcast.
The first half remained scoreless.
Rolfö is the best on board
But in the second half, it took just a minute before Fridolina Rulfo, Sweden’s best player of the day, after a complicated stand against Australia’s goal, was able to give Sweden the lead in the semi-finals.
The Sweden match worked better and better, thanks to Caroline Seeger in midfield, but Australia kept creating half the chances.
Australia, which had to play extra time in the quarter-final against Great Britain, made a three-way change 20 minutes before the end of the match to get more energy in the hunt for a tie.
But this did not help, Sweden managed to withstand the pressure of Australia.
“Then I can finally stop.”
The match ended 1-0 and Sweden will now face Canada in Friday’s Olympic final in Tokyo.
– We have lived up to expectations. It has been proven that what we are talking about is not empty talk. We have a chance to take the last step. This means a lot to me, says Hedvig Lindahl and adds:
– If we win, I can finally stop maybe. This is how you feel.
The final takes place at 04.00 Swedish time and Aslani hopes to get Swedish support:
– I hope Sweden is ready to wake up all night to see us get the gold, says Aslani who is looking forward to a new opportunity to win Olympic gold after the silver in Rio.
– We want to win, all that matters. We had a strong game against Germany also in 2016, and we deserved that gold as well, but then we played a different kind of football and I’m very proud of the way we play here now and the way we play. Gold is more valuable at the moment. We will do everything and a little more to take the gold home.
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