Friday, April 12, 2024

Arsenal Women at the World Cup: Ilestedt on Golden Boot charge as Sweden progress to semis

The first day of the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals proved to be a mixed bag for Arsenal players on international duty. In the early game (2am UK time) Victoria Pelova played the full 120 minutes for Netherlands but they were eliminated by Spain.

Spain took a 78th minute lead through a Mariona penalty, conceded by Dutch defender Stefanie van der Gragt who will retire after the World Cup. But the centre-half redeemed herself with a stoppage time equaliser to push the game into extra time. But a late solo goal from teenager Salma Paralluelo gave Spain the victory.

In the later game, Stina Blackstenius and Amanda Ilestedt started for Sweden against Japan, while Lina Hurtig was introduced as a 73rd minute substitute. Centre-half Ilestedt is the joint second top scorer at the World Cup after she opened the scoring against Japan.

Filippa Angeldahl’s second half penalty gave Sweden a 2-0 lead but Japan staged a late rally, missing a penalty before Hayashi’s late goal but Sweden hung on to win 2-1. They will meet Spain in the semi-finals. It means that Ilestedt, Blackstenius and Hurtig will be in Australia for the duration of the tournament since there is a third place playoff even if they lose the semis. That takes place two and a half weeks before Arsenal’s UWCL qualifier against Linkoping in Sweden so it remains to be seen whether they will be available.

Saturday sees four more Arsenal players in action. Alessia Russo and Lotte Wubben-Moy’s England take on Colombia at 11.30am UK and Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord’s Australia take on France in the 8am game.

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I really like that Sweden jersey… The bright yellow in combination with the dark blue


And blonde hair?!
Seriously though, Sweden played on the front foot and dominated Japan who were a tournament favourite. Hanging on a bit at the end, but found a way to win like they did against the US.
Ilestedt and co. might well win it.


As a swede I’m very pleased probably the greatest shirt we’ve ever had! And the team’s playing great. On to the semi!


It’s up there with Australia, which I find about the best kit ever.


Sweden seem to have got more confident since beating USA,was backing Japan after their performances in the tournament but Sweden were too good over the whole game even tho Japan rallied late & if the penalty had gone in……great to see Amanda challenging for the golden boot!

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