International women's football kicked back into action this week with the Blues appearing in a raft of friendlies.
Jonna Andersson and Magda Eriksson kicked things off for Sweden on Thursday with their friendly against Norway, with the Swedes recording a comfortable 1-0 win with a goal from Stina Blackstenius. Blackstenius nearly bagged a second just over 10 minutes later but was caught offside. Eriksson stayed on for the full 90 minutes while Andersson featured for the first 68 minutes.
Sweden were captained by Rosengard's Caroline Seger, who made her 214th international appearance, equalling the all-time European record set by former team-mate Therese Sjogran. On Tuesday, Andersson and Eriksson will come up against Sam Kerr when they face Australia.
The Matildas will be hoping for a win after losing to Denmark on Thursday evening. Kerr once again captained her national side and there was a promising opening 10 minutes for the Aussies with 70 per cent possession and two fair attempts, one offside and one shot from Kerr saved by player of the match, goalkeeper Lene Christensen.
Pernille Harder captained Denmark who scored the first goal of the evening from a set-piece in the 14th minute, following a poor defensive clearance from Australia’s Tameka Yallop which flew into her own net.
It only took five more minutes for Denmark to double their lead with Everton's Rikke Sevecke scoring from a corner. Australia’s luck was not in when goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold misread a floating shot and knocked it into her own net to give Denmark a 3-0 advantage going into half-time.
Australia made some changes after half-time which turned the tables, with Mary Fowler scoring her debut goal in the 86th minute and Clare Polkinghorne heading home a second for the Matildas in the 90th. However it wasn’t enough with Denmark managing to hold on to a 3-2 victory.
Elsewhere on Thursday, Ann-Katrin Berger, Drew Spence, Erin Cuthbert and our newest signing, Aniek Nouwen all were on the bench for their respective home countries. Jamaica had a 1-0 win over Nigeria in Houston, Scotland a 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland in Belfast with the Netherlands losing by the same margin to Italy, and this was the same for Germany against France.
On Friday, Jessie Fleming faced Czech Republic in Cartagena, Spain. While the Canadians dominated possession, they were unable to defeat a solid Czech defence, the game ending in a scoreless draw. This is the first time both countries have come face-to-face. Next up they will face Brazil on Monday.
Our eyes now turn to next week’s internationals on Monday and Tuesday.
Upcoming International friendlies:
United States v Jamaica KO 03:00
Brazil v Canada KO 20:00
Germany v Chile KO 14:00
Netherlands v Norway KO 17:00
Sweden v Australia KO 17:45
Spain v Denmark KO 18:30
Wales v Scotland KO 19:15