- Sweden ended 24-year jinx in France 2019 quarter-finals
- Sofia Jakobsson recalls the match against Germany
- The Swede played a major role in her team’s success
Sweden versus Germany is a classic fixture in women’s football. The two opponents have faced off 30 times so far, with the Germans emerging victorious on an incredible 21 occasions. Yet this was not the outcome on 29 June 2019, when an era of dominance lasting 24 years came to an end...
"We always play Germany at the big tournaments at some point, whether in the group stage or later," said Sofia Jakobsson in an interview with FIFA.com. "We’ve played against them a lot and know each other well. It’s always a tough game and we usually lose to them at major tournaments,“ she laughed.
"But this time we had a really good feeling in the group and had played really good football in the Round of 16 against Canada. We all just loved to play against the best teams in the world and Germany are certainly one of them. It’s also one of those games where you have to go home when you lose. We had prepared perfectly and had plenty of confidence. We also felt that it was our turn to win the match this time.“
The fact that Sweden ultimately triumphed was due in no small part to the 30-year-old, who was already competing at her third World Cup in France. Jakobsson scored the equaliser in the 22nd minute after Lina Magull had fired the ball into the Swedish net – but just what was going through her mind at this moment?
"I remember that I’d had a chance from the left-hand side just a few moments before," the forward said. "When I got the ball the second time I felt like this one was mine. As I took my first touch I thought: ‘Okay, that was perfect,’ and when I found myself one-on-one with the goalkeeper I knew that was my chance. When I shot and saw it was a goal…" she said, pausing to let the moment play out in her mind one more time.
"I was so happy to score because it was good to level with Germany before half-time," she continued. "I thought: ‘Now we have a chance and we will keep on pushing,’ because we were taking over the game a little bit."
The Damlandslaget took a 2-1 lead shortly after the break to put victory in their own hands and shatter the Germans’ dream of defending their title at the Olympic Women’s Football Tournament
A spell finally broken
The win was a special one for many reasons. After all, Jakobsson was just five years old when Sweden last triumphed over Germany at a World Cup. It almost seemed as if the spell had been broken.
"I don’t know about that," the likeable Swede said with a smile. "Right after the game you just feel so emotional about the fact that you have won and reached the semi-final – all these kinds of feelings. But, of course, it is always nice to beat Germany if you haven’t been able to do it for 24 years.
"It is kind of a long time and it’s obviously special to beat such a big team at a major tournament. We played really well in France and came out on top this time, but we know Germany will come back and it will be a tough game next time we meet them."
Who knows – perhaps Jakobsson and her team-mates will have the opportunity to repeat their brilliant performance at the next FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ in Australia and New Zealand. "I’ve never been there, so hopefully I’ll keep on playing and be a part of that World Cup too," she said.
"It will be a very special one. It’s always a pleasure for female footballers to be able to play these big tournaments because then we get the attention we deserve. It shows that we play really good football and are worth watching. It’s a step in the right direction and I hope we can keep on moving along that path."