Sweden became the first side to qualify for the last four of the Women’s European Championships with a 4-0 win over Iceland.
Three goals in 16 minutes sent the Swedes on their way in front of an enthusiastic 7,000-strong crowd in Halmstad.
The Swedes, coached by Pia Sundhage, already thrashed Finland by five goals on the way to this quarter-final, and were never in trouble against an outclassed Icelandic side.
It took Sweden less than three minutes to get on the goal-trail with Marie Hammarstrom fizzing a low, left-foot shot into the far corner of the net.
The hosts were like a full-power steam engine and Iceland were on the back-foot.
Chances were missed by Sara Thunebro and Josefine Oqvist, before the latter was picked out by Lotta Schelin’s long-ball and the midfielder lifted the over the on-rushing Bjork Gunnarsdottir.
Five minutes after, Kosovane Asllani set up Schelin at the near-post who got enough on the ball at the near-post to find the net.
After half an hour, Iceland's record 6-0 defeat – which they has occurred twice once against Sweden and once against Germany – looked to be in danger of being smashed against the tournament hosts.
Iceland did recover towards the end of the first-half and with three minutes to play before half-time they missed an excellent chance.
Poor goalkeeping from Hammarstrom saw the ball fall sweetly to Defender Olina Viddarsdottir but she rushed her shot and skewed the ball wide.
The three-goal cushion became four after 59 minutes without the Swedes having to get out of second gear.
Asllani was involved again, feeding through Schelin who toe-poked into the bottom corner when one-on-one with Gunnarsdottir.
Schelin, who plays her club football with Lyon, was an impressive performer with one goal and an assist earning her a standing ovation on 67 minutes.
Gunnarsdottir was still kept busy by the Swedes, even with the game dead-and-buried inside the last quarter of an hour.
Her namesake Bjorn Sara Gunnarsdottir could have netted a late consolation, forcing Hammarstrom into a neat save at her near-post.
But in the end, the well-backed home side Sweden secured their place in the semi-finals for the fifth consecutive European Championships.
- Sports & Recreation
- Lotta Schelin