|Attempts on target||5||0|
|Attempts off target||0||0|
Prolific striker Hanna Ljungberg scored a tremendous hat-trick as Sweden defeated Italy, thought to be their closest challengers in Group 1, 5-0 at the Råsunda stadium in Stockholm.
Sweden began their campaign to reach the 2005 UEFA European Women's Championship with a 6-0 Victory against Switzlerland, and they produced a similarly effective performance today to replace Italy at the top of the section. The Swedes dominated from the off and Victoria Svensson finished off a well-worked move to open the scoring in the 17th minute.
Despite continuing to outplay their rivals, the second goal did not materialise until the 41st minute, when Ljungberg's shot was deflected into the net. Svensson was again on target on the stroke of half-time, curling in an angled shot from the left-hand side.
Lead the line
Italy raised their game in the second half and Moira Placchi saw her powerful header hit the crossbar soon after the break. A victory for Sweden was assured, though, when Ljungberg - who will lead the line for Umeå IK in the two-legged UEFA Women's Cup final - struck in the 52nd and 64th minutes.
'Joy to behold'
Sweden coach Marika Damanski Lyfors said she could not have asked for any more from her players, saying: "I'm very pleased with how we played and the way we switched play from defence to attack was a joy to behold."
Italy coach Carolina Morace gave credit to her team's opponents. "Sweden are one of the best teams in the world and their physical strength is truly amazing," she said. "I can't really criticise my team's efforts today - the Swedes were simply too much." Italy are next in action on 19 July away to Finland, who are Sweden's opponents on 9 August.
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