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Sweden, U.S. Cruise into Knockout Stage at FIFA Women’s World Cup

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Sweden's Lina Hurtig celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Mimmi Larsson as Thailand's Natthakarn Chinwong reacts during their Women's World Cup Group F match at Stade de Nice, Nice, France on Sunday. Photo: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

By Ned Payne |

Sweden eased into the FIFA Women’s World Cup last 16 with a 5-1 thrashing of Thailand, who nonetheless stole the show by netting their first goal of the tournament.

The Swedes were superior in all areas in the Group F clash and took a 3-0 lead into the interval at Allianz Riviera in Nice, Linda Sembrant opening the scoring with a header after just six minutes.

In front of a crowd of little more than 9,000 – the lowest of the tournament – Kosovare Asllani doubled the advantage and a powerful strike from Fridolina Rolfo added to the Thais’ woes.

Lina Hurtig’s header made it four before Thailand, who had been battered 13-0 by the United States in their opening fixture, pulled one back in second-half stoppage time.

Skipper Kanjana Sung-Ngoen raced clear of the defence and smashed past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl from a tight angle, resulting in tears of joy from coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian.

Sweden had the final say after Elin Rubensson tucked away a penalty, awarded following the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee after Natthakarn Chingwong had handled in the box.

Elsewhere in Group F, the US reached the knockout stage courtesy of a 3-0 win over Chile at Parc des Princes in Paris.

Experienced forward Carli Lloyd put the Americans in front in the 11th minute when she fired into the net following a poor defensive header from Su Helen Galaz.

Chile’s Carla Guerrero had an effort ruled out for offside before Julie Ertz forced home a header from a corner.

Another pinpoint corner shortly after the half hour mark allowed the unmarked Lloyd to score her second with a powerful downward header.

Lloyd twice came close to completing her hat-trick but nodded against the bar – one of three US efforts to hit the woodwork – and missed the target with a penalty.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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