Sweden v South Africa Result
25 Jul 2012
Sweden v South Africa Result - 25th July 2012
Sweden 4 South Africa 1
Next up on the opening day at the City of Coventry Stadium was South Africa’s first ever involvement in the Olympic Games against Sweden, the pioneers of women’s football.
With the temperatures dipping slightly on a warm evening, there were still plenty of colourful banners around the stands as the Swedes and Banyana Banyana supported their teams.
It was Sweden who made the brightest start as Marie Hammarstrom rattled the bar from 20 yards and team-mate Caroline Seger also struck the crossbar all within the opening five minutes.
Thomas Dennerby’s team made the most of their impressing opening by grabbing the lead in only the seventh minute.
The goal had an element of luck as skipper Nilla Fischer’s thunderbolt from 25 yards hit a South African defender to deflect away from unfortunate keeper Roxanne Barker to spark a celebration where the players all fell down.
The crowd didn’t have long to wait to see the orchestrated goal celebration once again as Hammarstrom’s left-wing cross was prodded home by Lisa Dahlkvist in the 18th minute.
Sweden’s goal feast continued in the 20th minute when Sofia Jakobsson’s lovely through ball picked out Lotta Schelin and she slipped the ball past the advancing keeper from the edge of the box. This time the celebrations resembled a scene from Swan Lake.
South Africa re-grouped and nearly reduced the deficit when Portia Modise’s right-footed shot curled past a post and Noko Matlou narrowly failed to connect with Nothando Vilakazi’s left-wing cross.
There was less goalmouth action in the opening stages of the second half although the South Africans began to enjoy more possession as the half wore on and they then scored the goal of the game on the hour-mark.
Modise noticed Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl had wandered off her line and from just inside the centre circle, she sent a lob over her head and into the net for a stunning goal. That goal will certainly take some beating at the City of Coventry Stadium during the Olympic Football Tournament which was underlined by the loud cheers of the spectators.
But Sweden responded by restoring their three-goal advantage only three minutes later when Sara Thunebro’s left-wing cross was prodded in at the near post by Schelin for her second goal of the game.
Despite the scoreline, a group of South African fans didn’t stop dancing – with local children joining in –
which sums up the ethos of the Olympic Games.