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Sweden WomenSweden Women
1-1
Canada WomenCanada Women
Canada Women win 3-2 on penalties
Blackstenius (34')
Asllani (105')
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(aet)
Fleming (67' pen.)
Beckie (27')

Preview: Sweden Women vs. Canada Women - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sweden Women vs. Canada Women - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Olympic Games Women's Football clash between Sweden Women and Canada Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Sweden Women and Canada Women both have the opportunity to be crowned Olympic champions for the first time on Friday when they meet in the gold medal match at the Tokyo Games.

This year's competition is Sweden's second consecutive appearance in the gold medal match at the Olympics, while Canada earned bronze in 2012 and 2016.


Match preview

Peter Gerhardsson's side have a perfect record in Japan so far, winning five out of five games on their route to the final, scoring 13 goals along the way.

Their tournament could not have started better after a brace from Stina Blackstenius and a goal from Lina Hurtig sealed a convincing 3-0 win over world champions USA.

Sweden continued to go from strength to strength following that result and progressed into the knockout stages with ease, finishing five points clear at the top of Group G.

The quarter-final posed a seemingly tricky test for Sweden coming up against the hosts Japan, but they did not let home advantage defeat them and Gerhardsson's side cruised into the semi-final with a 3-1 win.

Up until the semi-final, Sweden had won all of their games by a margin of at least two goals, but Australia proved to be the most difficult opponent so far as a single strike from Fridolina Rolfo was all that separated the two sides.

Sweden will be looking to go one better than they managed five years ago when they lost 2-1 to Germany in the gold medal match, and players including Hedvig Lindahl, Magdalena Eriksson, Kosovare Asllani, Caroline Seger, Olivia Schough, Sofia Jakobsson and Blackstenius - who were all involved in that game - will need to use their experience to achieve gold this time around.

Canada's Olympics this summer has seen many draws en route to the final, including two in the group stages against Japan and Great Britain.

A vital three points in their second group game against Chile, courtesy of a brace from Janine Beckie, was enough to ensure they only needed to avoid defeat against Team GB to progress into the quarter-finals.

Bev Priestman's side's first knockout game came against Brazil last week, when there was nothing to split the two sides after extra time so the game was settled by a penalty shootout, which was also a tight affair.

After the first four penalties for each team the score was tied 3-3 and the shootout went straight to sudden death, when Vanessa Gilles stayed calm under pressure to convert her spot kick and Stephanie Labbe became Canada's hero after saving Rafaelle's effort.

Despite a few disappointing defeats for USA this summer, they still pose one of the biggest challenges to international opponents and that is what Canada had to surpass to reach the final.

Vlatko Andonovski's side created many chances on Labbe's goal but Canada remained resolute, and 16 minutes from time Chelsea's Jessie Fleming converted a penalty kick to guarantee her nation a medal in Japan.

After two consecutive bronze medals at the Olympic Games, perhaps reaching the final feels like a win for Canada but they will certainly see themselves as a match for Sweden in what is likely to be a closely-fought contest.

Sweden Women Olympic Games Women's Football form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Sweden Women form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Canada Women Olympic Games Women's Football form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Canada Women form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Sweden have been unchanged for the two knockout fixtures against Japan and Australia, and Gerhardsson is expected to name the same starting 11 for the final also.

Striker Blackstenius has four goals this summer and poses a big threat in front of goal for Sweden, while Rolfo, Asllani and Jakobsson will support the lone striker from midfield.

Sweden's back four consists of Eriksson, Nathalie Bjorn, Amanda Ilestedt and Hanna Glas, who all have experience at the top of the game having played Champions League football for their respective clubs.

Canada have also named the same lineup for their quarter-final and semi-final ties, using a form of a 4-3-3 shape which can change into a diamond midfield with Christine Sinclair dropping deeper.

The defensive line of Allysha Chapman, Kadeisha Buchanan, Gilles and Ashley Lawrence in front of goalkeeper Labbe are yet to concede a goal in the knockout stages and they will be hoping to continue that on Friday.

Sinclair has earned the right to be labelled as a Canada legend after making over 300 appearances and scoring 187 goals for her country, but she has not been as prolific this summer managing just one goal, although she brings more to the team than just goals with her experience being invaluable.

Sweden Women possible starting lineup:
Lindahl; Eriksson, Bjorn, Ilestedt, Glas; Seger, Angeldal; Rolfo, Asllani, Jakobsson; Blackstenius

Canada Women possible starting lineup:
Labbe; Chapman, Buchanan, Gilles, Lawrence; Quinn, Scott, Fleming; Sinclair, Prince, Beckie


We say: Sweden Women 2-1 Canada Women

Sweden edge the historic meetings between these two nations but the past is nothing to go by when it comes to a gold medal match at the Olympics, and both sides are very evenly matched in terms of quality and experience.

However, Sweden's results and performances have been more convincing and dominating than Canada, who have settled for many draws in Japan, and Sweden's experience from Rio 2016 could give them the edge on Friday.







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