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Women’s World Cup: Sweden reign supreme against Italy, France topple Brazil

Sweden made light work of fellow UEFA rivals Italy in a one-sided 5-0 demolition to seal progression into the 2023 Women’s World Cup knockout stage on Saturday.

After a come-from-behind 2-1 win over South Africa on the opening matchday, Sweden became the first team in Women’s World Cup history to put at least four goals past Italy.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Amanda Ilestedt delivered a match-winning performance at Wellington’s Sky Stadium as her goals on either side of half-time inspired Blagult to an emphatic victory.

In addition to posting back-to-back wins for the first time since 2021, Peter Gerhardsson’s ladies have qualified for the round of 16 for the fourth tournament running.

Today’s showing in New Zealand suggests Sweden’s bid to better a third-place finish in the previous Women’s World Cup edition is anything but unfounded.

Italy’s quest to reach the knockout phase remains firmly in their hands despite a humiliating result in Wellington as they head into the final round two points clear of Argentina and South Africa.

Milena Bertolini’s side will progress as Group G runners-up if they can avoid defeat against the CAF nation on Gameweek 3.

In Group F, France maintained their unbeaten all-time record against South American heavyweights Brazil with a dramatic 2-1 triumph at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

Wendie Renard’s 83rd-minute header fired Herve Renard’s side to an all-important win following an underwhelming scoreless draw against Jamaica on day one.

France’s record-goalscorer Eugenie Le Sommer broke the deadlock in the 17th minute before marquee forward Debinha levelled the score on the stroke of the hour mark.

However, Les Bleues snatched a crucial late win to ascend to the top of the group, leaving Brazil with everything to play for in their day-three encounter against Jamaica.

Jamaica’s hard-fought 1-0 victory over Panama in the other Group F fixture catapulted them to a coveted runner-up spot ahead of the group-stage finale.

But they still need to hold a more heavily fancied Brazil winless in their upcoming showdown to lock down a place in the knockout stage.

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