Jessica Landstrom’s second-half goal proved to be the difference between Colombia and Sweden in Group C’s opening encounter in Leverkusen, but the scoreline failed to accurately reflect the Scandinavian’s dominance.
For anyone who watched this game in full the overriding question would be, 'how did it take Sweden 57 minutes to break the deadlock?' As early as the third minute they had a golden opportunity to take the lead but Colombia captain Natalia Gaitan was on hand to clear Lotta Schelin’s tame shot off the line.
Seven minutes later, Caroline Seger showed good skill to find Schelin in the box, but once again the Lyon forward was to be denied by her old foe Gaitan on the line, ably assisted by Andrea Peralta. Sweden's other striker Landstrom was also having a bad day and somehow contrived to fire over after being well picked out by Schelin.
The Scandinavians were completely dominating possession and play and were also giving Sandra Sepulveda in the Colombia goal some uncomfortable moments from set pieces. As the half wore on the South Americans did well to contain the Swedes, but they also struggled to create any chances of their own.
In temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius, he second half was much the same as the first. Ten minutes after the restart, Schelin was forced to watch on in agony as her shot, under pressure from Peduzine, beat the keeper but trickled across the face of the goal and wide. That chance was enough to make Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby rest his head on the top of the dugout in frustration, but a minute later he was dancing with delight.
Schelin showed great trickery down the right flank and her low cross which beat the keeper was easily prodded into the net by Landstrom’s left foot. After that, Sweden could and should have scored more. Missed chances came and went. Therese Sjogran opted to shoot herself rather than square the ball to the well-placed Landstrom and impressive substitute Sofia Jakobsson brought a smart save out of Sepulveda.
In response, Colombia rarely threatened and two dipping shots from Carmen Rodallega in the second half which narrowly missed the target were their only chance of note during the 90 minutes.
Player of the match: Jessica Landstrom