Sweden defeat Australia in Algarve Cup opener

The Matildas opened their Algarve Cup campaign with a 1-0 loss to Rio Olympics silver medallists Sweden in Albufeira, Portugal.

A second half goal from captain Lotta Schelin was enough for Swedes to edge out Australia in their first match in close to 8 months.

Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic experimented with personnel and positions with Australia responding brightly.

The forward line of Lisa De Vanna, Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr proved lively but the disciplined Swedish defence cover their moves well early.

De Vanna and Foord both peppered Hedvig Lindahl’s goal without much success before Kyah Simon spurned Australia’s best chance on the half hour. After some quick passing, Kerr found herself in space with the forward rounding the Swedish defence to play in Simon.  On the end of the 6 yard area Simon was unable to keep the ball down and let Sweden off the hook.

On the shadows of half time the Swedes had their best chance when Stina Blackstenius found Schelin after a rare poor pass from Kellond-Knight is intercepted. Schelin couldn’t make the most of it as she fired over Lydia Williams’ goal to leave the scores locked at 0-0 into the break.

Following the resumption of play, Schelin made up for her earlier miss when she outpaced Kellond-Knight in the 60th minute to float into the box and fire past Williams.

The 68th minute so Simon go close to the equaliser as she received a well weighted ball from Emily van Egmond. Simon turned inside before releasing a bending strike and forcing a punch from Lindahl over the crossbar.

Three minutes later full back Jessica Samuelsson’s shot bounced off the inside of the post and dribbled across the goal line as the Swedes almost doubled their lead.

Australia went searching for the equaliser and late in the pieceKerr on the end of a slick move up the park but Lindahl again proved stubborn to beat blocking the shot late.

Sweden held on late to claim the points and join the Netherlands at the top of the Group C table after the Dutch earlier in the day defeated China 1-0.

Australia plays the Netherlands next on 3 March 2017 at


MATCH DETAILS

Australia  0
Sweden     1 (Schelin 60′)

1 March 2015
Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufeira
Kick off: 6:30pm local (2 March 2017 – 5.30am AEDT)

Australia line up: 1. Lydia Williams, 3. Gema Simon, 7. Steph Catley, 8. Elise Kellond-Knight, 9. Caitlin Foord, 10. Emily van Egmond, 11. Lisa De Vanna (15. Emily Gielnik 74′), 14 Alanna Kennedy, 16. Hayley Raso, 17. Kyah Simon (5. Amy Harrison 83′), 20. Samantha Kerr

Sweden Line up: 1. Hedvig Lindahl, 2. Jonna Andersson, 3. Linda Sembrant, 5. Nilla Fischer, 7. Lisa Dahlkvist (13. Hanna Grahns 72′), 8. Lotta Schelin (20. Mimmi Larsson 84′), 9. Kosovare Asllani, 11. Stina Blackstenius (14. Hanna Folkesson), 15. Jessica Samuelsson (10. Lina Hurtig), 17. Caroline Seger, 23. Elin Rubensson (19. Pauline Hammalund 45′)

Yellow Card: Nilla Fischer 32′

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