Sweden produced a breathtaking display of attacking football to thrash Thailand 5-1 in Nice on Sunday and book their place in the last 16 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Thailand, coming off a record 0-13 loss to defending champions US in their Group F opener, conceded twice in the opening 20 minutes as they struggled to win aerial battles.
They were unsuccessful though, against a much taller Swedish team.
Centre-back Linda Sembrant broke the deadlock for Sweden with a thumping header off an Elin Rubensson free-kick, before midfielder Kosovare Asllani pounced on a rebound to double their lead.
Fridolina Rolfo hammered in a third from outside the box as Sweden finished with three goals in the first half of a FIFA Women’s World Cup match for the first time.
This was since a third-place playoff win over Germany in 1991.
Forward Lina Hurtig and Rubensson scored in the second half to add gloss to the scoreline, while forward Kanjana Sung-ngoen pulled one back for Thailand in the closing stages.
It was a much improved display from Sweden, who peppered the Thailand goal with 34 attempts, after they laboured to a 2-0 victory over Chile in their opening match.