Sweden’s goalscoring hero Kosovare Asllani is looking forward to a reunion with a handful of former teammates when her side meet the USA in their final match in Group F in Le Havre in eight days’ time.
The 29-year-old spent 18 months with Manchester City earlier in her career where she was briefly a teammate of USA veteran Carli Lloyd while players which she played with at another former club, Paris Saint-Germain, are also in the reigning world champions’ squad.
Asllani was on-target for Sweden as they beat Chile 2-0 in their first FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 group match in Rennes on Tuesday evening. After the match, she told FAWSL Full-Time that she was looking forward to seeing some familiar faces when Sweden meet the USA.
“Yes, I am looking forward to it” said Asllani. “I played with Carli Lloyd when I was at Manchester City and I also played with Lindsay (Horan) and Tobin (Heath) for longer when I was at PSG.
“I have remained good friends with them. May the best team win.”
With the game against Chile being goalless after 83 minutes, Asllani struck the opening goal from close range to help guide Sweden towards an important three points.
She added “During the break when the game was suspended, we sat in the locker room and we didn’t believe that a draw was a fair result.
“We wanted to win this game and I felt that I just needed that chance to put it in.
“When the ball dropped in the box, I felt that I just wanted to hit it hard and high.
“It was a relief to score and a really important goal.”
Sweden had the lion’s share of possession and registered 24 shots on goal against Chile. Asllani believes that keeping their focus and remaining calm was key to the victory.
“We talked before the game about patience, not losing focus and just playing our game” Asllani revealed.
“I felt we did that for the whole game, we didn’t get frustrated or lose focus, we knew the chances would come.
“It was a good win for the team which we will enjoy tonight before regrouping again tomorrow.”
Asllani joined former club Manchester City from Paris Saint Germain ahead of the 2016 FA Women’s Super League 1 campaign. The player made 25 appearances in all competitions for City while she won a league title and both domestic cups with the club.