Sweden 5-1 Thailand: Women's World Cup 2019 – as it happened

And your next game in this group ...

Please join the esteemed Tom Lutz for coverage of USA-Chile. You may notice the USA have changed the lineup. A lot. So NOW they’re resting players.

And I’ll stick by 1-0.

That’s all for me -- enjoy Tom’s coverage here:

StickSports fan also congratulates me on the 5-1 prediction and says it’s OK if I show my dance atop my desk.

I’ve lost 30 pounds in 18 months, but I still don’t think my desk would support me.


Tuvic Tuslow raves that I got my second-half prediction correct by saying Sweden would score again (or twice more) and Thailand might score one. And ... huh. I did. That doesn’t happen often.

So, I’m asked, what’s my prediction for USA-Chile?


Yes. 1-0.

Assuming Endler makes a couple of early saves. If she doesn’t, then 6-0.

So what’s the difference here between USA-Thailand and Sweden-Thailand?

Simply put, Thailand improved. Sweden could easily have exceeded the USA’s tally of three goals in the first half if not for Boonsing. Against the USA, poor goalkeeping contributed to an outright dam break, and if you’ve been on the receiving end of many a blowout, you know the number of goals after that hardly matters.

“But this is the World Cup,” you might say. “A team should be able to hold it together mentally!” Not when few of your players have experience outside the domestic league of Thailand.

Thailand managed to get the ball forward and make Sweden respect their counterattack. That made the second half play out a bit differently.

The USA would have been a strong favorite against Sweden in whatever odds were made two weeks ago. Those odds shouldn’t change based on comparing these two games.

If the USA hammer five goals past Chile, then we’ll talk. Even then, Sweden might be in the USA’s heads after 2016.

FULL TIME: Sweden 5-1 Thailand

Sweden closes the game with (according to ESPN’s stats) 35 shots to Thailand’s five. That’s 12 shots on goal, but Boonsing saved five.

GOAL! Sweden 5-1 Thailand (Rubensson 90+6)

Boonsing guesses correctly, but the ball is well-struck into the lower left corner with the last kick of the game.

Sweden’s Elin Rubensson scores their fifth goal.
Sweden’s Elin Rubensson scores their fifth goal. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


VAR check!

Our first of the match comes deep in stoppage time. They want to see if Thailand handled the ball.

It’s a header that hits the arm of the unlucky Chinwong, who was running to her left and was moving her arm as someone running normally would. The close-range header hits the arm, and after a check, the ref points to the spot.

GOAL! Sweden 4-1 Thailand (Sung-Ngoen 90+1)

Again, Sweden lose track of Thailand’s best attacker, and she rips it near post past Lindahl.

A wonderful moment for the underdogs.

Thailand’s Kanjana Sung-Ngoen scores on a breakaway.
Thailand’s Kanjana Sung-Ngoen scores on a breakaway. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pélissier/Reuters
Thailand’s Kanjana Sung-Ngoen celebrates with her team-mates.
Thailand’s Kanjana Sung-Ngoen celebrates with her team-mates. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


90 min: The ever-dangerous Sung-Ngoen gets space on the right. With Sembrant closing and no teammates in sight, the Thai forward shoots high.

88 min: Dangda leaves her arm out in an “unnatural position,” and the ball clangs off it. That’ll be a free kick from 28 yards out.

The referee sees many things she does not like and moves around to correct them before allowing Rubensson to take the kick.

Boonsing can’t find it, but the ball is cleared out.

84 min: A foul 35 yards out gives Thailand a free kick. Phancha sends a harmless-looking ball into the box, but a teammate saves it near the endline and tries to send it back across, only to see Lindahl alertly collect it.

At the other end, an exquisitely timed Chinwong tackle stops the Swedish counter.


82 min: That’s deflating for Thailand, as is the departure of Orathai Srimanee, who is grimacing as she leaves. Orapin Waen-Ngoen is the replacement, and she immediately sends a through ball for Sung-Ngoen. Lindahl races out to collect it.

GOAL: Sweden 4-0 Thailand (Hurtig 81)

Solid cross after a nifty give-and-go on the left flank, emphatically headed into the net from 10 yards out.

Sweden’s Lina Hurtig scores their fourth goal.
Sweden’s Lina Hurtig scores their fourth goal. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pélissier/Reuters


77 min: Sweden get five players within eight yards of the goal, but Anvegård puts it in the side netting. She then makes way for Mimmi Larsson. That’s all three subs. Thailand still have two to make.

75 min: Sung-Ngoen gets space on the flank again. Her cross goes through, but Thailand retain possession. Nild plays wide, but it all ends with an overly ambitious effort that will do nothing but tick over Thailand’s shot count.

Kanjana Sung-Ngoen takes off after stealing the ball from Swedish veteran Caroline Seger.
Kanjana Sung-Ngoen takes off after stealing the ball from Swedish veteran Caroline Seger. Photograph: Hannah Peters - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images


72 min: Janogy with a few moves on the ball, and her shot is blocked ... by Schough, the Swedish substitute. Probably not the instant impact Schough wanted.

68 min: Tuvic Tuslow offers a prediction of a 4-0 final here. I’ll say five. I think Janogy will be difficult to contain.

And maybe Thailand will get one? Fischer has to slide to stop a run from Intamee, and the ball bounces toward a grateful Lindahl.

Sweden substitution: Captain Caroline Seger departs, handing the armband to Asllani on her way out, and she’s replaced by Olivia Schough.

65 min: Janogy fights for the ball at the near post and fights with the ref after the ball is ruled to have gone off her out of play.

Goal difference update: By this time in the USA-Thailand game, the USA had seven goals. Sweden are stuck on three.

63 min: A break for Thailand. Sung-Ngoen swipes the ball from Seger and is off to the races on the left. She opts to wait for more players to arrive. They do, but they’re all Swedish. That doesn’t help.

62 min: Hurtig commits a foul while trying to reclaim the ball. After the whistle, she shows a bit of petulance and kicks it a few yards forward. The ref allows it.

60 min: If Sweden are thinking about getting 10 more goals to even out the goal difference, they’re not playing that way. They’re still working on their game. Patient buildup leading to quality shots.

You know -- the things they’ll need against the USA and in the knockout rounds.

Kosovare Asllani of Sweden under pressure from Pikul Khueanpet of Thailand.
Kosovare Asllani of Sweden under pressure from Pikul Khueanpet of Thailand. Photograph: Hannah Peters - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images


I see plenty of tank tops in the stands.

Play resumes, and Hurtig is waved back on.

57 min: StickSports Fan again: “Not celebrating would have been patronising and more insulting. Be critics about the actual football, not such irrelevant stuff please!”

OK. Jill Ellis should have taken Morgan and Rapinoe, both of whom have a lot of miles on their legs, out of the game for a bit of rest instead of leaving them out there to pile on, because goal difference clearly isn’t going to make a difference in the USA’s fortunes here, while Morgan and Rapinoe’s health absolutely will.

Thailand brings on Orathai Srimanee for Thongsombut.

Then Hurtig joins Boonsing in the “painful shot at close range” club, taking one smack to the face. She’s down.

53 min: Two more shots -- Hurtig sends a header just wide off a corner, and Glas takes a mild shot from the top of the area than Boonsing easily snares.

Abhijato Sensarma takes me up on my halftime discussion query: “What should we talk about at half-time you ask? Okay, here’s my question - what’s the best kit of this World Cup in your opinion?”

I’ll say South Africa.

Janine Van Wyk of South Africa.
Janine Van Wyk of South Africa. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

Thailand’s trainer is out to take a look at Boonsing, who’s feeling the effects of a shot she had no chance of saving with her hands. Looks like she’ll stay in. One of Thailand’s backups, by the way, plays in the USA at Kennesaw State. That’s a college.


47 min: And right away, Janogy is quick to pounce on a loose ball and smashes it from six yards out. Unfortunately for her and perhaps for Boonsing, the Thai keeper is right there to absorb the brunt of it. That’s why I don’t play soccer any more. (That and my Achilles.)

Teams are back on the field as we get a glimpse of Rolfö eating a banana. She’s been replaced by Madelen Janogy, who was superb off the bench when Sweden finally broke through Chile’s defense after a weather delay.

Scott Bassett writes: “Sweden are now ON PACE to equal the 13 goals of the US, since that game, if memory serves, was 3-0 at half time. However, their celebrations are simply not extreme enough. They need to really up their antics if they want to win the disgrace derby. Come on Sweden! You can do it!”

Committee meeting or celebration?
Committee meeting or celebration? Photograph: Joosep Martinson - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Since people want to keep talking about this, here’s a question: Are the USA’s celebrations simply the sign of a team that has a level of tenacity and competitiveness that others don’t have?

The rationale that the U.S. women were merely celebrating the first goals of newbies Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle doesn’t hold water. Lavelle scored the USA’s seventh goal (her second). Pugh scored No. 11. The rest were all from the long-familiar names -- Morgan, Rapinoe, Lloyd.

Maybe it’s just that the same ruthlessness and single-mindedness that led to these celebrations is also the same set of traits that helps the USA succeed?

Or maybe not. Only so much armchair psychology we can do.

StickSports Fan, who’s either excited about the St. Louis Blues’ Game 7 victory (which I also brought to you via the magic of The Guardian’s live-commentary system) or the start of pro lacrosse season, has an interesting theory ...

“Maybe Sweden are just appearing sloppy, but in reality they are...ahem... trying not to celebrate as much because they fear facing irrational wrath from international media over their actions? Who knows.....”

I don’t think so. They’ve shot 20 times (Fox says 18, ESPN says 20), on pace to match the USA’s tally against Thailand. The first celebration was a nice pile-up in front of the goal. The next two celebrations weren’t notable.

Halftime: Sweden 3-0 Thailand

The last meaningful kick is from Anvegård, who produces a solid save from Boonsing, who has surely repaid her coach’s faith in her.

So what shall we talk about at halftime?

44 min: Hurtig drops after a rough challenge from Dangda. Our referee plays the advantage. Sweden is not inclined to take it. Dangda receives a yellow and will miss the next and surely final game of this Cup for Thailand.

I believe we had a new Laws-mandated one-way drop ball, but the TV cameras declined to show us.

GOAL: Sweden 3-0 Thailand (Rolfö 42)

The ball pings in and out of the Thai penalty area and falls to Rolfö, who takes a touch to the top of the arc. Her previous efforts have been lacking. This one isn’t. It’s drilled with some authority. Boonsing does very well to get a hand to it, but she can’t keep it out. That’s a goal to celebrate.

Fridolina Rolfo of Sweden scores her team’s third goal.
Fridolina Rolfo of Sweden scores her team’s third goal. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images


41 min: Sung-Ngoen goes 1v4, shrugs off a challenge and slices a cross toward a well-marked teammate.

39 min: All that said, the shot count is 16-1 in Sweden’s favor.

Charles Antaki writes: “The TV director occasionally cuts to the Thai bench to show a very cool looking woman in an expensive and ostentatiously non-sporting outfit, who the commentator claims is a billionaire who bankrolls the national team. If England had such a person they certainly wouldn’t look so cool - it would be a sweaty, overweight businessman on his mobile phone - say Mike Ashley or, if were truly unlucky, Sir Philip Green.”

The USA should counter with Rihanna.


37 min: This is looking like an actual game of soccer, with each team having some possession in midfield and patiently seeking a way through. Thailand’s wildest dream would be just to score once here, but this is competent football. Or, as the English called it until the Americans also started using that name, soccer.

Waraporn Boonsing of Thailand wins the ball in a crowd.
Waraporn Boonsing of Thailand wins the ball in a crowd. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

34 min: Sweden concede a free kick in their own half. It lands just shy of the area, but Thailand appear to have forced a corner kick until the AR’s flag goes up. Replay (not VAR) shows the call to be correct, because we ARs are awesome. (Legs still sore from yesterday.)

I’m not sure what this is, especially because I’m not getting any sound with it, but I’m mesmerized ...

32 min: Free kick goes the middle of the box again, but it’s farther away from goal, and Eriksson’s header sails over the bar.

31 min: The through ball was on for Sweden, but they botched it.

In 2016, Sweden clinically converted on the few chances they had against the USA. This team simply doesn’t appear to be on that level.

But we should remember -- the bulk of the USA’s goals were after halftime. This could still fall to pieces for Thailand, and Nild just gave up a needless free kick 28 yards out.

29 min: A pair of Swedish corner kicks produces nothing but a foul.

Here’s that Asllani goal:

Luke Jones writes: “Normally in a game like this in a big tournament the stands would be full of locals who turned out to cheer for Thailand, or maybe see a historically lopsided defeat. It really is too bad that FIFA or the organizers or whoever made that impossible.”

The crowd did seem sparse when the teams walked onto the pitch, but we can see a few pockets of supporters creating a bit of noise when either team has the ball. It’s surely better attendance than Sweden had when it hosted. (In fairness, that was 24 years ago. Women’s soccer has progressed a bit since then.)

25 min: But Sweden, frankly don’t seem up for it. A sloppy pass here and there, then a terrific tackle from Chinwong.

And as I type that, Chinwong loses track of Asllani, who can’t direct a pinpoint cross into the net.

They’ve been a little wasteful, this Swedish team. If they score against the USA, that would probably send off some alarm bells.

23 min: Rolfö with another rash shot.

Reminder: Sweden must score, say, 12 goals to put any pressure on the USA in the Battle of Goal Difference.

22 min: Say this for Thailand -- they’re trying to get numbers forward, and they’ve been successful in getting into the opposing third twice, along with a bit of midfield possession.

GOAL: Sweden 2-0 Thailand (Asllani 19)

Doesn’t matter who the opposition is -- that was lovely. Hurtig’s header floats toward the far post and forces Boonsing to stretch for a nice save. Asllani collects it with no angle to shoot, then creates an angle to shoot. 2-0.

Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani scores their second goal.
Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani scores their second goal. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters


18 min: A good cross from Hurtig to a spot with two Swedish forwards and two Thai defenders occupying the same spot of grass. The carom is not on goal.

16 min: Shot for Thailand! And it’s not a bad one at all. Sweden can’t break up a Thailand possession, and the ball is crossed back to Nild at the top of the box. Her shot whistles high, but that wasn’t bad.

Sweden roars forward in response but produces only a tame shot.

Fox kindly shows us the goal ...

From email: Someone apparently thinks I’m a European racist black lady. I’d be OK with three of those things, but I am none.

I thought we were letting the celebration thing drop ...

12 min: Swedish possession, Swedish possession, corner, foul, goal kick, and ... Thailand possession! Sung-Ngoen gets around the defense and crosses. Sweden forced to clear under pressure.

Lina Hurtig of Sweden is challenged by Ainon Phancha of Thailand.
Lina Hurtig of Sweden is challenged by Ainon Phancha of Thailand. Photograph: Joosep Martinson - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images


9 min: Save! OK, it’s somewhat routine, as Rolfö fires from the top of the area. But it’s a save.

Sweden reclaims the ball, and Rolfö gets into the middle of the box, doing the hard work of beating four defenders but putting her shot nowhere near much of anything.

GOAL: Sweden 1-0 Thailand (Sembrant 6)

Free kick from 35 yards out from the Phancha foul, and it’s fair to say Sweden is going to be better in the air. Rubensson floats it to Sembrant -- defender’s goal!

Linda Sembrant of Sweden scores.
Linda Sembrant of Sweden scores. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images
Sembrant is congratulated by teammates after scoring.
Sembrant is congratulated by teammates after scoring. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images


5 min: Phancha fouls Hurtig and immediately puts her hands up as it to bow or pray.

4 min: Decent chance here, with Eriksson playing a good cross to Asllani, who gets her head or torso to it but can’t direct it goalward.

2 min: At the 1:01 mark, a Thai defender touches the ball. It’s out for a throw-in.

Asllani gets impatient and fires from outside the box to the periphery of the stadium.

Kickoff: Looks like a lovely day in Nice.

And now that the India-Pakistan match has been suspended due to ... you guessed it, rain ... you have no excuse to skip this one.

Sweden’s lineup

Two changes up front, though supersub Madelen Janogy remains on the bench. Instead, Lina Hurtig and Anna Anvegård replace Sofia Jakobsson and Stina Blackstenius.

Lineup, with clubs:

GK 1-Hedvig Lindahl (Chelsea)

D: 6-Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea)
D: 3-Linda Sembrant (Montpellier)
D: 5-Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg)
D: 4-Hanna Glas (PSG)

M: 17-Caroline Seger (Rosengard)
M: 21-Elin Rubensson (Kopparbergs/Göteborg)

M: 18-Fridolina Rolfö (Bayern Munich)
M: 9-Kosovare Asllani (Linkopings)
M: 8-Lina Hurtig (Linkopings)

F: 19-Anna Anvegård (Vaxjo)

You can also call Rolfö and Hurtig forwards if you like. Honestly, isn’t the difference between a 4-5-1 and a 4-3-3 basically a matter of attitude? You could say Thailand’s in a 4-3-3, but does anyone think they’ll have three players pressing forward?

Players in The Guardian’s top 100: Fischer, Seger, Rolfö, Asllani. Also Blackstenius, who has moved to the bench.


From Twitter:

Cena was terrific in the Amy Schumer film Trainwreck.

Before a nice feature on Nild, the pregame coverage on Fox included a rant from rasslin’ star Hulk Hogan.

It must work. After the Coca-Cola Hometown Heroes segment on Crystal Dunn, one of my awesome kids brought me a Coke. It’s Father’s Day, you know.

Thailand’s player to watch

And we already have an email. Here’s Tim Farnham: “Can you just grow up and move on and do your job and cover Sweden - Thailand, please? You’d think you had a complex about the US - Thailand match or something.”

I’m 49 years old.

But the last comment on the USA-Thailand game here (barring the occasional “a sub is coming in -- she was a starter against the USA” note) will be this: The player Alex Morgan consoled after that game was Miranda Nild.

What do Morgan and Nild have in common, besides that moment? They’re both Cal-Berkeley alumni. Nild finished her outstanding playing career in 2018.

So Nild isn’t just the recipient of a good show of sportsmanship from Morgan. She came up through the U.S. women’s soccer gauntlet and excelled.

Miranda Nild, right, tries to keep the ball against the USA’s Abby Dahlkemper, who played her college soccer just down the coast from Nild at UCLA.
Miranda Nild, right, tries to keep the ball against the USA’s Abby Dahlkemper, who played her college soccer just down the coast from Nild at UCLA. Photograph: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Thailand lineup

A few changes from the 0-13 decision against the USA, including the goalkeeper. New players get an asterisk.

GK: 1-Waraporn Boonsing*

D: 10-Sunisa Srangthaisong, 19-Pitsamail Sornsai*, 3-Natthakarn Chinwong, 5-Ainon Phancha

M: 12-Rattikan Thongsombut, 8-Miranda Nild, 6-Pikul Khueanpet*, 7-Silawan Intamee, 17-Taneekarn Dangda*

F: 21-Kanjana Sung-Ngoen

Khueanpet was a first-half sub against the USA. Dangda was a second-half sub.

Dangda had a hat trick in the game against Indonesia, as did Saowalak Pengngam, who’s on the bench.

Taneekarn Dangda enjoys her pre-Cup photo session.
Taneekarn Dangda enjoys her pre-Cup photo session. Photograph: Simon Hofmann - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

When Thailand scored 13 ...

May 27, 2018. Indonesia hosting Thailand.

Your goal scorers: Dangda, Saengchan, Saengchan, Intamee, Dangda, Phancha, Boothduang, Dangda, Intamee, Pengngam, Pengngam, Pengngam, Chuchuen.

The celebrations were subdued. Even somber.

Maybe they watch American baseball, and they know that people who celebrate home runs a bit too much in a rout (or even in a close win) end up taking a fastball in the ribs.

Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) fights on the field with catcher Elias Diaz (32) and starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) after being hit by a pitch. And we’re not even sure this one was intentional.
Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) fights on the field with catcher Elias Diaz (32) and starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) after being hit by a pitch. And we’re not even sure this one was intentional. Photograph: Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports


Welcome to the Battle of Goal Difference, the most anticipated television event since the Battle of Winterfell.

If Sweden do not win by at least 12 goals, taking their goal difference to +14, they’ll need to hope the USA fail to score more than one against Chile. The latter is actually possible, given the presence of Chile’s outstanding goalkeeper Christiane Endler.

And if either team falters, then they’ll have more at stake because they’ll need a win rather than a tie to win the group and keep themselves on course for an expected quarterfinal matchup with France.

Wait. Is this really a thing to desire? Is it worth scoring a zillion goals rather than resting Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe?

OK, OK. We’ll let it go.

Here’s Sweden-Thailand. Enjoy.

Beau will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s Eni Aluko on that defeat for Thailand:

I have to say I’ve been surprised to see some of the reaction to the USA team’s celebrations during the 13‑0 win against Thailand. I think some of it is to do with the fact that they aren’t the most popular team out there – there’s this perception that the USA are arrogant and everything is excessive and over the top with them.

But there is also a perception that women’s football should be all hugs, smiles and kisses – people do not expect a level of ruthlessness they might see in the men’s game. That kind of win-at-all-costs attitude is perhaps something people don’t expect from women. There’s still that unspoken rule that everything should be all “nicely‑nicely” but listen: this is a World Cup.

The ruthlessness of the USA team is what every other side in France should aspire to have too. That’s why they are the defending champions. I don’t really understand the concept that they shouldn’t have celebrated, because it would have been an even bigger disrespect to not celebrate.