By ISAAC LIRI
SWEDEN’S Stina Blackstenius scored four goals in her side’s 6-0 win over brave hosts Papua New Guinea in front of more than 10,000 fans at the Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby last night.
The 20-year-old striker is currently the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup leading goal-scorer with four goals ahead of Brazil’s Gabi Nunes whose goal against North Korea yesterday brought her total to three.
Swedish coach Calle Barrling said his side had done their job by getting the win but commended the home side for their stubborn defence.
“We did not expect PNG to be strong (defensively) like this. We wanted to score more goals, around 10, but PNG were good enough to keep us out,” Barrling said.
“Now we have to look forward to Brazil.”
In a one-sided group A clash, the Swedes controlled possession as expected and after eight minutes, striker Blackstenius opened the visitors’ ledger.
Playing a defence-oriented style, PNG coach Lisa Cole’s team scrambled to contain the Scandinavians as they looked for ways through the defence.
With the lion’s share of possession came territory for Sweden and the home side were hemmed into their own half, letting the Swedes pepper the PNG goal mouth constantly with goal-keeper Lavina Hola being required to touch the ball more times than she normally would have.
In spite of the pressure, PNG held Sweden out for most of the half until Blackstenius struck again in the 43rd minute for a 2-0 lead heading into the halftime break.
PNG showed some attacking intent before the end of the first-half but withdrew into their defensive shell at the start of the second-half.
Sweden used their glut of possession to mount assault after assault and it paid off with Blackstenius tapping in a goal to reach her hat-trick in the 58th minute.
The home side tried to take the action into the Swedish half but those raids broke down quickly, forcing the women-in-red back on the defensive.
Blackstenius capped off a memorable night nailing her fourth goal and putting the issue beyond doubt in the 72nd minute.
By ISAAC LIRI