We were all hoping that Thailand could keep the score at 0-0 for a while, but six minutes in Linda Sembrant headed Sweden ahead. The game threatened to get away from Thailand as Kosovare Asllani and Fridolina Rolfo made it 3-0 by half-time.
Just as Casey Stoney told BBC Sport “Thailand, importantly, haven’t conceded in this half and they’ve been much more organised defensively” Sweden scored their fourth of the day. Lina Hurtig beats the Thailand defenders in the air to place her header into the bottom corner of the goal. Huge credit to the Thai women, they dug deep in the second half and were much more organised. They are clearly a level or two below pretty much every other side in the competition but it’s great that they’re playing on this stage, it can surely only help grow the women’s game in the region.
During the first half Thailand struggled to get into the box but towards the end of the game they looked much more positive going forward. Ainon Phancha clipped in a free kick, Orapin Waen-Ngoen’s cut back was weak and too close to Hedvig Lindahl who gathered the ball.
Soon after we had the moment that we were all waiting for, Kanjana Sung-Ngoen gets put through on the right wing, she dribbles into the box and it looked like she was going to square it for a tap in but she goes for goal and smashes the ball past Lindahl, who is beaten on the near post. The wild celebrations that followed were possibly the best moment of the tournament so far. Seeing the tears of joy from the Thailand players and staff were quite touching and if I’m being honest, it was setting me off as well.
There was still time for another farcical VAR awarded penalty for Sweden after the ball hit Natthakarn Chinwong’s hand as she went for the header. When FIFA see sense and readdress the interpretation of the rule? Elin Rubensson scores from the spot as Sweden become the pantomime villains after spoiling our high. There is no time to re-start as referee blows up for full time immediately after.
Sweden: Lindahl, Glas, Fischer, Sembrant, Eriksson, Rubensson, Asllani, Seger, Rolfo, Anvegard, Hurtig
Thailand: Boonsing, Phancha, Chinwong, Sornsai, Srangthaisong, Dangda, Intamee, Khueanpet, Nildhamrong, Thongsombut, Sung-Ngoen.