Sweden 1-0 Canada: Women's World Cup 2019 – as it happened!

Stine Blackstenius’s goal and Hedvig Lindahl’s penalty save earned Sweden victory over Canada and a quarter-final against Germany

That’s all from me. The second half was excellent fun. We’ll forget about the first, shall we? Bye!

“The Guardian stats show Canada with no shots on target. The penalty doesn’t count for that?” wonders Mark Schmidt. Official statistics have both teams tied on two on-target shots apiece. Beckie had both of Canada’s, one of them the penalty.

So Sweden will play Germany in the quarter-finals, in Rennes on Saturday. And Hedvig Lindahl has been given the player of the match award, which seems a bit puzzling. Sure, she saved a penalty and is generally excellent, but the penalty aside she didn’t have much to do.

VAR checks that penalty shout, even after the final whistle. It did hit someone’s elbow, but it was hard against their body. There will be no more penalties.

Final score: Sweden 1-0 Canada

The corner is headed to the edge of the area. A shot comes in, and bounces off a Sweden defender. Canada have their arms up, hoping for another handball-based penalty. The referee blows for full time!

90+9 mins: It’s headed behind for a corner. The referee will let Canada take it! Labbé is up!

90+8 mins: In the final second of stoppage time, Glas fouls Lawrence just outside the penalty area, near the byline, on the left. Canada score from this free-kick, or they’re out. Leon will take it.

90+6 mins: Thirty seconds later, the ball is back with Labbé. She boots it forward, and it runs through to Lindahl.

90+5 mins: Sweden have brought Anvegard on for Blackstenius, their goalscorer. There are two minutes to play and the ball is with Labbé, Canada’s goalkeeper.

90+4 mins: Jakobsson streaks down the right and pulls the ball back, and it rolls towards Asllani. A chance, a shot and a goal looks inevitable, but Schmidt somehow gets back and spoils things. She has had a great game, though certainly having pink hair makes you likely to notice her.

90+3 mins: There will, by the way, be seven minutes of second-half stoppage time.

90+2 mins: Schmidt has a shot from just inside the area, but it’s off target.

90+1 mins: There’s another, brief, VAR handball penalty review, but this time Sweden get the benefit of the doubt (there wasn’t really much doubt; it wasn’t a handball).

89 mins: Riviere gets into another good position on the right, but mishits her cross straight out of play. Sweden take Rolfo off, and bring Hurtig on.

88 mins: Fine work from Riviere, who has just come on. The shot that follows her pull-back, though, is wild.

86 mins: What a clearance! The ball is curled into the area, Asllani volleys it past Labbé and towards the corner of the net, but Scott manages to get her leg in the way! If she had not reached it, Canada were done.

86 mins: Sweden win a free-kick on the right, and Buchanan is booked. She will thus miss the quarter-final, if Canada manage to reach it.

84 mins: A couple of further substitutions: Beckie, Canada’s penalty-fluffer, is off and Rebecca Quinn is on. Also, Chapman is off and Riviere is on.


82 mins: There was a fractional offside in the build-up, and the penalty is disawarded.


A low cross from the right rolls to Rolfo, and Lawrence’s attempt to dispossess her from behind is ruled a foul!

Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfo is fouled by Ashley Lawrence.
Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfo is fouled by Ashley Lawrence. Photograph: Joosep Martinson/FIFA via Getty Images


80 mins: Save! Asllani plays in a free-kick from the left, one of her team-mates flicks it goalwards and Labbé makes a point-blank save!

79 mins: Sweden make their first substitution, taking of Rubensson and bringing on Bjorn.

76 mins: Canada continue to find Sweden’s defence impossible to penetrate. They have had 57% of possession, much of it in Sweden’s half, but have looked less likely to actually score.

73 mins: Buchanan slides in at the near post to stop Blackstenius scoring a second. If ever a game needed a goal, it was this one. And it has been totally transformed.

It's brilliantly saved!

69 mins: Lindahl dives to her right, gets both hands to the ball and pushes it round the post! Replays show her left foot is absolutely on the line when the kick is taken, so there will be no second chance for Janine Beckie.

Hedvig Lindahl turns the ball round the post.
Hedvig Lindahl turns the ball round the post. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/FIFA via Getty Images


Canada have a penalty!

68 mins: Asllani’s hand wasn’t just by her side. That, in this cruel, cruel, world that we find ourselves living in. Is a penalty.

The Swedish players await the VAR decision.
The Swedish players await the VAR decision. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters


VAR check! Canada are going to get a penalty here!

67 mins: Scott’s shot hit Asllani’s left arm. i don’t think the arm was very far from her body, but the impact of the ball pushed it out and made that look worse than it was, I think.

66 mins: Canada try to score: Beckie cross from the right and Schmidt is at the near post and heads across goal and wide.

65 mins: The first change of the day sees Canada’s Prince leave the field and Leon enter it.

63 mins: “Is it just me,” wonders Hubert O’Hearn, as Sweden push forward again, “or does the Swedish manager look like the guy in a noir thriller who garottes three victims before being pushed down an elevator shaft?”

Sweden’s head coach, Peter Gerhardsson
Sweden’s head coach, Peter Gerhardsson, during the Women’s World Cup 2019 round of 16 match between Sweden and Canada in Paris. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

60 mins: Sweden have another decent attack. This time Blackstenius tries to return the favour by teeing up Asllani, but the still ubiquitous Schmidt gets back and cleans up.

56 mins: An excellent final pass and a decent finish. Labbé onrushed really quite badly there, I think, which helped the scorer a bit.

Blackstenius celebrates.
Blackstenius celebrates. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters



55 mins: Canada threaten, and keep threatening, and threaten some more. Then a pass is intercepted, it’s moved on to Asllani, she curls a pass to Blackstenius, and she pokes past the onrushing Labbé! It’s Sweden 1-0 Canada!

Stina Blackstenius of Sweden pokes in the opening goal.
Stina Blackstenius of Sweden pokes in the opening goal. Photograph: Joosep Martinson/FIFA via Getty Images


53 mins: It is a shot! It’s wide, obviously, but still, just by being an attempt to put the ball in the net it is one of the top three moments of this match. Sinclair it is, who curls her effort a couple of yards wide of the post.

52 mins: Canada have a shot! And might have another shot! Beckie is the shooter, whose 23-yarder flies high and wide, but Asllani fouled her mid-shot so Canada can have another go.

50 mins: Nearly a thing! Sweden push and probe around the Canada penalty area; Beckie wins the ball but then gives it straight away again; Jakobsson gets into the box and prepares to pull the ball back. Then she’s tackled. Corner.

48 mins: I think I’d prefer the lake, all things considered. “Apropos that other fella’s Swedish idyll, I’m watching from my local Scottish pub in Stockholm,” writes Jon Collin. “There are a surprising number of Scottish pubs in Stockholm; this one smells like a stale water closet and is a fairly accurate facsimile of an estate pub in the UK, though I’m not sure that’s what it’s aiming for. The crowd is mainly fellas who’ve been here for several hours. Terrible game, Asllani is frustrating, and Swedish TV is already talking about penalties.”

46 mins: Peeeeep! The same 22 players are having another go at it.

Anyway, they’re back out and ready for more. Brace yourself, this is going to be incredible.

I shouldn’t be too disparaging. There has been lots of decent football, it’s just that absolutely none of it has happened in either penalty area.

Spend the half-time interval of this match reading about a better one:

“The BBC bloke is doing the commentary on his own, poor devil,” notes Charles Antaki. “Either the corporation is saving money, or there actually was a co-commentator and she’s slumped under the table with ennui, or simply walked off in dismay.” He is, at least, getting half-time off.

Half time: Sweden 0-0 Canada

45+2 mins: It’s over, for now at least. Just another 75 minutes of that before they decide it on penalties.

45+1 mins: There will be about one minute’s stoppage time, though I don’t really know where they found it from. Absolutely nothing has happened. Three free kicks. Some throw-ins. The occasional corner.

45 mins: Another foul! And a booking! Rolfo is booked for landing her foot on Scott’s ankle, though there didn’t seem to be much intent.

44 mins: Another foul! Lawrence is judged to have fouled Asllani, though I thought it could easily have gone the other way.

42 mins: Asllani keeps the ball for an unforgivable amount of time in midfield and eventually loses it, gifting Prince the chance to release Sinclair. Which she doesn’t take.

40 mins: Another first: a foul. There has been only one. According to the official statistics, Canada have only made three tackles.

38 mins: I think we might have just had a shot on target, though given that it was a header from 25 yards that only just rolled as far as Labbé, it’s probably best not to get too excited.

36 mins: Sweden win another corner, which Labbé unconvincingly flaps clear.

Canada’s Stephanie Labbe punches clear.
Canada’s Stephanie Labbe punches clear. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images


35 mins: The game’s official hashtag, #SWECAN, demands to be preceded with #CANWEKICKITYE

34 mins: Sweden win their first corner (Canada have had four). Jakobsson heads it way wide.

33 mins: Schmidt’s excellent looping through-ball finds Sinclair, but her first touch is not great, forces her to turn back, and the chance is gone.

30 mins: The frustration! Prince is released on the right by a lovely pass; three team-mates run into the area to her left; her cross, with great precision, picks out the only part of the area which none of them could possibly reach.

Nichelle Prince’s cross is wayward.
Nichelle Prince’s cross is wayward. Photograph: Marianna Massey/FIFA via Getty Images


28 mins: The combined efforts of both teams has, so far as I can recall, resulted in approximately one kick in an opposing team’s penalty area. And that was rubbish. Very much a day for defences so far. “I took Julian Menz’s advice and looked up Lake Siljan on the map,” says Peter Oh. “It looks like the drive there from Stockholm takes you through the towns of SolVARbo and KVARnsveden. The signs are there for all to see!”

26 mins: Beckie is released on the left, controls the ball, sizes up Fischer, the only person between her and the penalty area, and then runs, with the ball, off the pitch. This is frustrating.

22 mins: Another shot! Fleming half-volleys wildly, after a high cross bounced kindly off Schmidt, who never seems to be more than 10 yards from the ball.

20 mins: A decent Canada attack ends with Schmidt’s poke through for the onrushing Chapman running out of play. “Truly love the Canadian women’s team,” sniffs Hubert O’Hearn. “I’m eternally grateful to them for making me a fan of the women’s game 10-15 years ago as their matches were shown on Canadian TV. Emigration to the UK changed many old loyalties, but not this one. Go Canada Go!”

18 mins: And a shooting chance for Jakobsson and Sweden, who bursts past two opponents in midfield, runs at a backtracking defence but then drags her shot wide from 20 yards. It is the first shot of the game, more than a sixth of the way through.

17 mins: Good work from Asllani on the right, who controls a throw-in, turns and outmuscles Beckie, who falls over, before sending in an excellent cross, but it drops to Schmidt who boots clear.

13 mins: Now Beckie rampages down the left, but Glas gets back to snuff out the danger just as it was starting to look really dangerous, at the expense of a corner.

11 mins: Suddenly, the Swedes threaten. Seger passes to Jakobsson in the area and for a moment a great chance looks inevitable. But Buchanan is alert and swoops to steal the ball away.

Elin Rubensson of Sweden battles for possession in the air with Canada’s Kadeisha Buchanan.
Elin Rubensson of Sweden battles for possession in the air with Canada’s Kadeisha Buchanan. Photograph: Joosep Martinson/FIFA via Getty Images


10 mins: Now Rolfo does well to end a once-promising Canada attack on the Swedish left flank. Canada have had much the better of the last few minutes, though.

7 mins: Canada win a corner, which Beckie floats to the far post, over Lindahl’s desperate flailing hand, where it’s headed behind for another one. This one comes off Schmidt’s pink hair and goes behind for a goal kick.

6 mins: Sinclair closes down Lindahl, whose attempt to chip the ball over her opponent and to a team-mate is overhit, and results in a Canada throw.

5 mins: So far every forward pass since that early Asllani overhead has been capably dealt with by this or that defender, Glas being the latest. We’re very much still in the early sparring stage.

3 mins: Lawrence controls a poor pass quite beautifully on the right flank, and then overhits her own pass straight out of play.

1 mins: Sweden start on the front foot, but Asllani’s overhead flick bounces too far ahead of Blackstenius, and Labbé comes out to claim.

1 min: And they’re off! Sweden get the game started, Asllani doing the honours.

The anthems have been sung and coins have been tossed. Football is but a few moments away.

The teams line up in Paris.
The teams line up in Paris. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images


The Swedish anthem is being sung. As the players line up I’m reminded of how disappointed I’ve been with the mascots’ kit for this tournament. It looks like nobody thought about it until about 15 minutes before the first game, and were then extremely relieved to find something vaguely acceptable in the back of a cupboard.

“Allow me to paint a picture,” writes Julian Menz. “A stone’s throw to the shore of beautiful Lake Siljan (three hours from Stockholm, google it). Sun shining, the lake almost mirror-like. Sat with my Swedish wife’s family and a (worryingly large and increasing) number of friends. We have BBQ-d, we have beer and wine (Swedes tend to bring their own, but hej, we have no close neighbours). I just hope tonight’s match doesn’t descend into yet another VAR farce.” Yeah, good luck with that.

The players are in the tunnel, and looking forward to some damn fine anthem-singing.

Here’s some pre-match reading, courtesy of Eni Aluko:

They have to share the arms on their armchairs, though, like in the economy section of an aeroplane. That must be annoying. Every half-time must turn into a competition to be the first to jab out your elbows and claim the shared arms. And maybe some drink-holders would come in handy, too, given that the occupants of the dressing-rooms will often be engaged in rehydration. Otherwise, it looks lovely.

A peek inside the dressing rooms tells us that the players get unusually comfy-looking armchairs to sit in:

The Sweden changing room at Parc des Princes
The Sweden changing room at Parc des Princes. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/FIFA via Getty Images


The starting line-ups in full:

Sweden: Lindahl; Glas, FIscher, Sembrant, Eriksson; Rubensson, Asllani, Seger; Jakobsson, Blackstenius, Rolfo.
Canada: Labbe; Lawrence, Buchanan, Zadorsky, Chapman; Prince, Scott, Schmidt, Beckie; Sinclair, Fleming.

The line-ups have been announced on ye olde social media. I’ll get a basic textual version to you shortly.

Hello world!

A meeting between Canada, fifth in Fifa’s rankings, and Sweden, No9, looks like a stonking round-of-16 match-up. Sure, both came second in their groups, but to Netherlands and the USA respectively, which in neither case is exactly a humiliation. Canada won two of their three games and lost 2-1 to Netherlands in a game where they had more possession and more shots, so emerge from the whole business in great credit. Sweden won two of their three games and though they were pretty soundly beaten by the Americans in the last, that only happened after they made seven changes with an eye on this match, and so they also emerge in credit. It should be a close-fought affair, as it was when they played in the third-place play-off of the Algarve Cup in March. On that occasion the game was encouragingly close, if less encouragingly sterile: it ended 0-0, with Canada prevailing on penalties.

“They’re a team that always shows up in the big tournaments,” Canada’s Christine Sinclair said of Sweden. “Obviously they won the silver medal in the last Olympics. They’re a world-class team, very well-organized with some great players. It’s going to be a great game.”

“My message is relatively simple tomorrow,” said the Swedish captain Caroline Seger. “It’s about winning or going home. We’ll have to get out there and play at 100% with no regrets when we leave the pitch.”

Anyway, hello! Let’s hope this has all the good things about the teams’ last meeting, and also some goals.