Chelsea legend Hedvig Lindahl was delighted that her Sweden side were able to record a 2-0 victory over Chile in a weather-affected FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 Group F match in Rennes on Tuesday evening.
The 36-year-old leaves Kingsmeadow this summer after four-and-a-half-years in England, she does not yet have a new club with a maiden career FIFA Women’s World Cup winners’ medal the first post-Chelsea target.
Lindahl played the full 90 minutes of Sweden’s opening match at the tournament, a game which was suspended for over 45 minutes due to thunder and lightning in North West France. Peter Gerhardsson’s side were frustrated for large parts of the match by a stubborn Chile outfit and needed late goals from Kosovare Asllani and Madelen Janogy to ensure that they collected three points.
Speaking to FAWSL Full-Time after the match, Lindahl said that she was relieved to come away from a difficult match with a maximum points return.
She said “I think we deserved the win in the end as we were the dominant team.
“It was hard, their keeper kept them in the game for a long while.
“I’m happy to get the win and for someone like Janogy to come on and seal it.”
While the game started in bright sunshine, heavy rain arrived in the second half which soon developed into a thunderstorm. The game was temporarily suspended on safety grounds with 18 minutes left to play. Lindahl said that she hadn’t witnessed anything like that before in her 23-year career.
“I have never experienced anything like this before” said Lindahl. “Especially with the conditions changing during the course of the game, that was a first.
“We’ve started calling the coach ‘rain man’ because we have been to other games where it has rained a lot, we’ve even had a game cancelled after the warm-ups.
“We have been flexible with our mental preparation and that came to use.”
Time was running out when the players returned to the pitch after the enforced additional break but Lindahl said that her side always believed that there was a winning goal in the game.
The keeper added “We believed and it was clear what our goal was after the break, no hand break, we had to go for that win.”
Sweden return to action on Sunday when they take on a Thailand side in Nice which will be low on confidence after suffering a record-breaking 13-0 loss to the USA on Tuesday evening.