Ilestedt's last-minute winner secures Sweden win

Amanda Ilestedt celebrates her goal against South Africa

Amanda Ilestead was the hero for Sweden as she bagged a last-minute winner to beat South Africa 2-1 in their opening World Cup match.

After a goalless first half, the third-ranked side in the competition containing three Gunners found themselves behind just after half-time when Hildah Magaia scored after a fumble by goalkeeper Zecira Musovic, as the African side aimed to achieve their first point in the competition’s history.

However on 65 minutes the Swedes were handed a lifeline when Lebohang Ramalepe steered a dangerous cross into her own goal to level the scores, although it looked as though Sweden would be left frustrated in their opening game.

But in the final minute, Kosovare Asllani's corner was powered home by the head of Ilestedt to snatch the win and score her first World Cup goal in the process.

Our recent arrival from PSG played the full 90 minutes and was named Player of the Match for her efforts, and was joined on the field by Stina Blackstenius who was withdrawn on 65 minutes, with Lina Hurtig involved in the final stages as an 88th-minute introduction.

Sweden are next in action on Saturday when they take on Italy, before their group stage games end against Argentina on Wednesday, August 2.

Victory for Victoria

Victoria Pelova playing against Portugal

Meanwhile, Victoria Pelova's Netherlands also got the competition off to a winning start by beating Portugal 1-0.

Pelova played the full 90 minutes before being substituted in second-half stoppage time, with her side protecting their lead following Stefanie van der Gragt's VAR-assisted goal on 13 minutes.

That was our midfielder's World Cup debut, having been a part of the 2019 squad but not playing a minute during the tournament in France.

Victory for the Dutch sees them join the USA on three points in their group, with the two 2019 finalists facing each other next Thursday.

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