Kosovare Asllani started and played the full 90 minutes in Sweden’s 0-0 draw against Australia. Sofia Jakobsson was subbed on in the 86th minute.
This was an important test for both teams as they will play each other in Group G in the Tokyo Olympics. The other two teams in Group G are the U.S. and New Zealand.
Asllani played in an attacking midfield role where she helped dictate the Swedish attack while also making late runs in the box in an attempt to get on the end of crosses.
Sweden dominated possession early. The Matildas’ Hayley Raso had to make a crucial intervention in the 18-yard box to prevent Madelen Janogy from opening the scoring in the 16th minute.
The Swedish side continued to put the Matildas under pressure. Janogy nutmegged Ellie Carpenter and sprinted down the left flank. She squared to Asllani, who had time and space but she took her shot first time and shanked it over the bar.
One minute later, Julia Roddar recovered possession and fired a shot toward goal. Australian goalkeeper Teagan Micah tipped Roddar’s shot over the bar.
Sweden were unable to convert their chances and gave the Matildas opportunities to take the lead. In the 30th minute, Sam Kerr ran onto a lofted ball and squared to Kyah Simon. Simon shot the ball straight into the arms of the keeper.
The Matildas grew into the match but were still caught in possession in dangerous positions. Johanna Kaneryd had a great opportunity to open the scoring after a poor giveaway in the 42nd minute.
Australia were much better in the second half. They limited Sweden’s chances in front of goal and were much more composed on the ball. The Matildas continued to find Kerr in behind the defense. Australia’s best chance of the match came from finding Kerr down the left flank. She dribbled into the box and it looked like Kerr was waiting for support. Instead, she smashed her shot off the corner of the near post and the crossbar.
Sofia Jakobsson was introduced in the 86th minute. Sweden and Australia traded spells of possession and both teams tried to take advantage of transition opportunities but neither were able to convert their chances and the match ended in a scoreless draw.