Sweden, many obstacles to score a goal in the World Cup


The Spanish women’s team will face this Tuesday the penultimate step to play the final of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, a very demanding step like the one represented by Sweden, a rival that is difficult to score a goal in this championship.

Thus, of the four survivors remaining in this World Cup, the Swedish team has been able to leave a clean sheet in three of its five games, and has only conceded a goal from South Africa in its first game (2-1 ) and by Japan in the quarterfinals (2-1). Two goals that enhance their defensive level, very similar to that of another semifinalist, England, which has also conceded only two goals. Both have conceded one less than Australia, which received all in the same game, the defeat against Nigeria in the group stage (2-3), but has not collected the ball from the back of its goal in the other four games, between them the last three.

According to data provided by ‘Driblab’, Peter Gerhardsson’s team is the one that has made the most clearances of the four semifinalists (99) and the second in interception of shots (47), to which is added the good functioning of their goal, especially Zecira Musovic, starter in four of the five games and only substitute in the process of the group stage against Argentina, in which Jennifer Falk played.

Between them, they have signed 20 saves and a percentage of 91 percent, with the headline being key in the round of 16 match against the United States and being the final door to knock down a physical defense and with two central defenders already proven and with Experience like Magdalena Eriksson (29 years old), who this summer has changed from Chelsea to Bayern, and Amanda Ilestedt (30).

On the wings, Jonna Andersson and Nathalie Bjorn will have a lot of work because it is another of the areas where the Spanish team attacks the most, although it is most likely that they will receive constant help from one of the midfielders there.

Also, to further complicate things for Spain’s offensive gear, Sweden tends to accumulate a lot of players in the middle and it doesn’t seem like they will be too aggressive in pressing up front either. In this World Cup, they have only produced 36 ball steals in the last third, and against a team like the United States they had no problem ceding possession with just 33 percent.

From there, in attack it is usually quite vertical and direct, with only 90 lateral centers, a figure that is almost half of that signed by the Spanish team, which is very committed to attacking from the sides. Sweden makes less compared to Spain (2,301 passes –1,764 completed– compared to the 3,558 of the Spanish –3,025–), but they have scored eleven goals in 23 shots on goal, proof of their good offensive effectiveness, for the 48 that Jorge Vilda’s team needed to score their 14 goals.