SWEDEN VS AUSTRALIA
All eyes will be on the Nissan Stadium in Tokyo when Sweden lock horns with Australia in a mouth-watering women’s football semi-final clash in the latest edition of the Olympics.
Outrageous day in the women’s football quarter-finals… ⚽️
🇬🇧 3-4 🇦🇺 (AET)
🇸🇪 3-1 🇯🇵
🇳🇱 2-2 🇺🇸 (🇺🇸 wins 4-2 on penalties)
🇨🇦 0-0 🇧🇷 (🇨🇦 wins 4-3 on penalties) pic.twitter.com/TO8dWCk51V
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) July 30, 2021
The Blue and Yellow emerged victorious against the Matildas in the second game of Group-G in a goal-scoring carnival. In the all-important semi-final game, a triumph for either outfit would ensure a podium finish and set up a jaw-dropping fixture with the winner of Canada or the USA.
THAT SEMIFINAL FEELING 🇸🇪 @Olympics pic.twitter.com/OTNvXynw2i
— Kosovare Asllani (@KosovareAsllani) July 30, 2021
The Scandinavians have hardly set a foot wrong in Tokyo, winning every battle they have been a part of. Right off the bat, Sweden gave zero opportunities to their rivals, bashing goals and defending like a brick wall. Ending USA’s 44-games unbeaten streak, bashing Japan’s medal aspirations, and setting up a glorious semi-final against a known enemy, the Scandinavians’ hunt for glory could be satisfied with a victory.
WE'VE JUST MADE HISTORY! 🇦🇺
See you in the Semi Finals. #WeAreMatildas #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/oSA1gnYiPa
— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) July 30, 2021
While for the Australian outfit, they have shown signs of struggles on several occasions but have never backed down. If Sam Kerr could have converted her penalty in the two army’s group-stage fixture, they would have enjoyed a perfect record coming into the semi-finals. But with Kerr’s ability, Tony Gustavvson’s managerial wizardry, and the backing of a whole continent, the Socceroos could be destined to upstage history.
The Scandinavian roster is injury-free in the semi-final encounter with coach Peter Gerhardsson looking to pick his best eleven against an ecstatic Australian outfit.
SWEDEN’S PROBABLE LINE UP – Hedvig; Hanna, Magdalena, Nathalie, Amanda; Kosovare, Filippa, Caroline; Sofia, Stina, Fridolina
The situation in Matilda’s dressing room is identical to their oppositions, with an injury-free roster Tony Gustavsson’s team selection could make or break the Australian hearts.
AUSTRALIA’S PROBABLE LINE-UP – Ellie; Lucy, Demi, Steph, Rachael, Leah; Keira, Kim, Caroline; Ellen, Lauren
AUSTRALIA- SAM KERR
Equalling Lisa De Vanna’s benchmark in the semi-finals, with 47 goals Australia’s deadly striker Sam Kerr became the highest goalscorer for her countries’ women’s outfit. Kerr’s ball-playing abilities are another tool in her arsenal.
Kerr not only thunders rocket in the opposition’s frame, but she also serves as a playmaker, assisting and fabricating opportunities for her players. Her number one focus as an attacker is to score goals, as evidenced by her statistics, but her link-up ability falls in line with her approach to the game.
Our skipper! With her two goals on Friday, Sam Kerr is now the equal top goalscorer in @TheMatildas history.
4️⃣7️⃣ goals: @samkerr1
4️⃣7️⃣ goals: @lisadevanna11#WeAreMatildas #NeverSayDie pic.twitter.com/I2bqD5Mr8h
— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) July 31, 2021
The Chelsea striker smacked two crucial goals in the quarter-final against Great Britain giving the Matildas the ticket to the semi-finals and a sniff at silverware. Kerr’s approach to the game is defined by her poise, technique, and speed.
She times her gallops up the field to perfection, leaving the last defender with no option as she sped towards the net. Kerr’s ball-handling skills have been well-documented; however, her deft gliding prowess deserves to be mentioned as well.
Matilda’s captain troubled the Blue and Yellow when they two crossed swords in their group stage encounter. Although a missed spot-kick shrouded her excellent outing, her ability to rectify her mistakes could prove troublesome for the opponents in the clash of the titans. While Sweden has a rock-solid backline, Australia and Sam Kerr could exploit even an inch of space.
SWEDEN – STINA BLACKSTEINUS
The poacher who hunted down USA’s women’s team glittering 44-game unbeaten streak, Swedish striker Stina Blacksteinus could give the Matilda’s a run for their money in the knockout clash in Tokyo. While she has already taught Australia’s backline a lesson, her forward teachings could have another chapter waiting to be exposed.
Blacksteinus intelligently shimmies past oppositions giving defenders no breathing space. Identical to the Three Lions striker Harry Kane, the BK Hacken lady has a defensive element hidden in her which she usually brings on the pitch helping out her backline in nervous situations.
“Stina is a striker but also a very good defensive capacity. She’s hard-working and a player who makes many high-speed runs during the games. She’s also a very good finisher.” exclaimed Swedish coach Peter Gerhardsson.
If awarded even a hint of freedom against the Matildas, Blacksteinus will stream into the goal-mouth and won’t need a second invitation to thunder the ball into the back of the net. Stina has netted 4 goals in the Tokyo Olympics and could add to her sparkling tally against an opposition she rates highly. With history on Sweden’s side, the striking queen could guide her national outfit to the Olympics’ throne.
A high voltage women’s football semi-final clash, with one team enjoying a perfect record while the other jumping above any hurdle presented in front of them, the world could be preparing for a feast. Although FootTheBall predicts that Sweden could emerge victorious against Australia and earn the ticket to the Olympics grand finale with a scoreline of 3-1.