Report: Blackstenius guides Sweden past Israel

Israel 0-3 Sweden
Stina Blackstenius took her campaign tally to 16 goals with two more as Sweden saw off the spirited tournament hosts in Lod.

Israel's Shahar Nakav vies with Rebecka Blomqvist of Sweden
Israel's Shahar Nakav vies with Rebecka Blomqvist of Sweden ©IFA

• Sweden beat hosts Israel on the opening day of Group A
• Stina Blackstenius scores two to take season tally to 16
• Israel's Shahar Nakav sent off ten minutes from time
• A crowd of 2,400 watch Israel's tournament debut at Lod Municipal Stadium
Next matches: Sweden v Denmark, Israel v France (Saturday)

Stina Blackstenius continued her impressive goalscoring feats with two goals as Sweden upset the party for WU19 EURO debutants and hosts Israel.

Blackstenius struck 14 times in six outings to seal Sweden's finals place – equalling the qualifying record – and added two more here as they took the Group A spoils. Her first came soon after Nathalie Björn's audacious opener midway through the first half and the second, 18 minutes from time, sealed it in front of a crowd of 2,400 in Lod. Shahar Nakav saw red in the closing stages.

Having lost 8-0, 5-0 and 5-0 in their last three qualifiers at this level, Israel will take positives and they certainly started competitively. Björn ended the resistance with a looping long-range effort from out wide that drifted over Fortuna Rubin. Six minutes later it was 2-0 as Rebecka Blomqvist released Blackstenius and the striker did what she does best.

Israel battled gamely, and the lively Eden Avital came within millimetres of halving the deficit before the break. Blackstenius made sure of the points in the second half, expertly turning Shai Pearl on the edge of the box and firing in at the near post to end any remaining hope for Guy Azouri's side. The dismissal of Nakav ten minutes from time salted their wounds.

Reaction
Guy Azouri, Israel coach: "We don't like losing but we lost to a leading country in women's football and they may be the most physical in the championship. Our girls tried very hard and it wasn't easy to create chances. We didn't stop at any point and that's the biggest thing for me: two years ago we wouldn't have got out of our own box in a match like this. We will build on this."

Calle Barrling, Sweden coach: "We knew we up against a very enthusiastic home team and they showed a lot of resistance. We kept our composure and made the game much easier. Towards the end you could see that we are much more physical and I was pleased with our performance. We will play the Nordic derby [against Denmark] on Saturday and it will be a different game but we expect to win."