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Sweden register 2-1 win over South Africa

FIFA Women’s World Cup: Sweden register 2-1 win over South Africa. Image Source: IANS News

Wellington, July 23 : Amanda Ilestedt’s late winner helped Sweden beat South Africa 2-1 in Group G opener of the FIFA Women’s World Cup at Wellington Regional Stadium, here on Sunday.

Hildah Magaia’s 48th-minute goal had South Africa on course for their first Women’s World Cup points, but goals from Fridolina Rolfo (65′) and Ilestedt (90′) secured a victory for third-ranked Swedes.

With this win, Sweden became the first nation at this year’s tournament to come from behind to claim all three points.

It was a tense first half that saw Sweden dominate possession but struggle to create any clear-cut chances outside of a few brief moments from a string of corners.

Three minutes after the restart, Thembi Kgatlana broke free down the left and sent a shot at Zecira Musovic with the Sweden goalkeeper parrying the ball straight into the path of an onrushing Magaia who slotted home from close range.

Sweden drew level midway through the half with a teasing cross from the right from Johanna Kaneryd took a touch off Lebohang Ramalepe into Rolfo with the ball then spilled past South African goalie Kaylin Swart to make it 1-1.

Sweden ramped up the pressure with substitute Caroline Seger, who became the first woman from her nation to feature in five FIFA Women’s World Cups, coming close to finding a winner in the 81st minute.

Right at the death, it was Sweden that snatched all three points with Player of the Match Ilestedt rising to meet a well-delivered Kosovare Asllani’s corner and sealed the win.

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