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Asllani Scores Clutch Penalty To Seal 3-1 Victory vs. Japan

The Swede’s overcome a tough opponent in a high-quality tactical encounter.

Sweden v Japan: Women’s Football Quarterfinal - Olympics: Day 7 Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

The tournament favorites marched into the semi-finals of Olympics football with a 3-1 victory over host nation Japan.

Sweden went with their strongest lineup after rotating vs. New Zealand, staying in the 4-2-3-1.

Sweden took the lead early on through a Magdalena Eriksson header.

Japan countered with a good spell on the ball, forming a situational back three behind their double pivot to overload Sweden’s pressing game and force Stina Blackstenius backwards. Filippa Angeldal and Caroline Seger were always cautious to step up thanks to Japan’s presence between the lines and Mana Iwabuchi’s threat as a receiver.

Japan’s good structure allowed a series of clean progressions into the final third, eventually resulting in an excellent equalizer.

But Japan’s problem was their inability to contain Sweden’s progression, which increased following the change in game state and led to sustained waves of attacks.

Fridolina Rolfö picked up her second assist after threading an excellent ball to Blackstenius and Japan started to fade.

Kosovare Asllani sealed the deal from the spot and Sweden saw out the result from there.

Sweden are now into the semi-finals and will play Australia for a chance to face either the US or Canada for gold.