NICE, France (Reuters) – 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 women’s World Cup.
Thailand, coming off a record 13-0 loss to defending champions United States in their Group F opener, conceded twice in the opening 20 minutes as they struggled to win aerial battles 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 World Cup match for the first time 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.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)