Sweden qualified for the last eight of their first-ever FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in convincing style, registering seven points and six goals to top Group B. One of the main factors behind the Scandinavians' success was undoubtedly the form of Sofia Jakobsson.
The blonde forward proved a real handful for the New Zealand, Brazil and Korea DPR defences, her intelligent runs creating space for strike partner Antonia Goransson to net four goals in their side's opening three matches. Sofia herself was on the scoresheet against the North Koreans, and now the Umea starlet, who finished the UEFA U-19 Women's Championship 2009 as top scorer, is hungry for more. "I can't promise any more goals of course, but I hope I'll score another one or two," said the likeable 20-year-old in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com.
Jakobsson's partnership with Goransson in attack came as a surprise to many, not least the 5'7" striker herself. "At the beginning it was a bit strange because Antonia normally plays on the wing, but we've built up an understanding. Our partnership flourished in the final group game."
The two goalgetters are now hoping their good form continues in Saturday's quarter-final against Colombia in Bielefeld. "We've come from behind and managed to turn the game around in both our last two matches. I firmly believe in our team. We have an excellent chance of reaching the semis."
The young Swedes have already had a taste of South American opposition having been pitted against Brazil in the group stage, and after a promising 1-1 draw against As Canarinhas, Jakobsson and her team-mates have every reason to expect another positive result against a Colombian side with a similar style.
Aside from the host nation, the Swedish U-20s are the only side from European Zone qualifying to have reached the quarter-finals of Germany 2010. "We had a difficult group, but I always believed in the quality and strength of this team. Before the tournament I was certain that France and Germany would reach the last eight, as well as England and it was a big surprise to me that France and England failed to make it through."
However, she refused to be drawn on who she considers to be the favourites for the title. "There are a number of good teams at this tournament. I've seen the USA and Germany play and both teams were strong, but I still think Sweden would have a chance," said the youngster, before signing off by revealing Sweden star Hanna Ljungberg as her biggest inspiration. "I played with Marta at Umea and you can't avoid looking up to someone like that, but Hanna has been my idol since I was a kid."