Women’s World Cup 2023: Sweden Comes from Behind to Beat South Africa 2-1 in Group G Opener

Sweden came from behind to defeat African representatives, South Africa in a group G opener at the Wellington Regional Stadium 2-1.

28-year-old Sejong Sportstoto FC player, Hildah Magaia raised the hopes of the South Africans with the curtain raiser in the 48th minute from a deflection that came from Musovic who did not clear her lines properly.

Nigeria’s Azezat Oshoala’s team mate at Barca, 29-year-old Friotolina Rolfo equalized in the 65th minute from a cross pass that missed many heads.

Arsenal’s Central Defender, Amanda received a cross from a corner kick taken by K. Asllonii to head home the winner at the 90th minute.

Sweden had shown cause to take the day with 15 shots at goal with 6 accurate ones compared with 10 shots at goal of South Africa with 4 on target; the domination was significant as Sweden had 69-31 ball possession.

The difference in the fouls committed being 9-8 against Sweden is not significant, but the only two yellow cards of the match were flashed at South Africa while Sweden had 13 corner kicks to South Africa’s only one.

Sweden and South Africa are meeting for the first time at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but a total five times meeting. Sweden now has four wins and a draw.

Sweden lashed South Africa 4-1 on the 25th July 2012; the Bayana Bayana of South Africa lost by a lone goal in the second meeting on 3rd August 2016; Sweden won again 3-0 on 21st January 2018 and they both played a goalless draw on 22nd January 2019.

Sweden are unbeaten in their five games against teams from Africa at FIFA Women’s World Cup winning 3 with two drawn games but the most recent two that ended in draws both against Nigeria.

Sweden are unbeaten in the opening games of each of their last five FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments winning three and drawing two after losing their first four such games; they have lost only three of the 15 group stage games played in the competition in the 21st Century with wins in 8 games and draws in 4 games and with all three of those defeats coming against the USA.

The Bayana Bayana team coached by Desiree Ellis is at the World Cup for the second time but they were sent out at the group stage in their last outing at France 2019.

Sweden has appeared in all the nine tournaments. Sweden were Runners-up at USA 2003 as they lost to Germany 1-2 in the final on the 12th October 2003; the team won the Bronze thrice at China in 1991 when she drubbed Germany 4-0; at Germany on 16th July 2011 when she defeated France 2-1 on 6th July and when Sweden caged the Lioness of England 2-1 at France 2019. Sweden were quarterfinalists twice at Helsingborg Sweden 13th June 1995 when she lost 3-4 on penalties after 1-1 at full time and at USA 99 when Sweden lost Norway 1-3 at San Jose on 30th June.

On Monday 24th July at 0700 hours, Italy will face Argentina at the Eden Park in a group G match; at 0930 hours at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium it will be Germany versus Morocco while at noon (1200 hours) the Samba Babaes of Brazil will show case Tikitaka football against Panama at Hindmarsh Stadium, Australia in a group F match.
Eniola Olatunji reporting for Patmos Media Line.