Chelsea duo Hedvig Lindahl and Magda Eriksson played the full 90 minutes for Sweden as they eventually saw off Chile at Roazhon Park in Rennes this evening.
Sweden needed late goals from former Manchester City striker Kosovare Asllani and substitute Madelen Janogy to beat the Chileans 2-0 in a weather-affected game in the North West of France.
Sweden started the first half with a good tempo without really troubling Chilean goalkeeper Claudia Endler. Nilla Fischer almost opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark but Endler got a hand to her header, a wonderful save.
The best chance of the half came eight minutes before the break when Fridolina Rolfo whipped a superb ball into the box from the left. Stina Blackstenius met that delivery but was unable to keep her shot down when just 12 yards out.
Blackstenius then headed an effort wide before Karen Araya’s long range strike for Chile flew just the wrong side of the post as the half ended goalless.
The second half began with more Swedish pressure but further poor finishing. Edin Rubensson scuffed a low effort wide of goal while Caroline Seger could only glance a header off target when unmarked in the box.
The heavens then opened as the rain came pouring into Roazhon Park. That didn’t really affect Sweden’s attacking play as Madga Eriksson’s dangerous effort from the edge of the box just cleared the Chilean crossbar.
The game was then suspended for the best part of an hour following the arrival of thunder and lightning in the area, the referee eventually making the decision that it was safe for the players to return around 8pm local time.
Sweden were inches away from breaking the deadlock virtually straight after the restart but Sofia Jakobsson’s curling effort was superbly tipped over the bar by Endler.
Linda Sembrant struck an effort straight at Endler following a set piece routine before striker Asllani netted the opener late on after substitute Janogy’s initial effort had been blocked.
Janogy was to get her name on the scoresheet in injury time when she produced an emphatic finish which found the top corner of the net.
Sweden will now face Thailand in their second group match in Nice on Sunday while the USA face Chile at the Parc des Princes in Paris.