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SWEDEN WORLD CHAMPIONS – Swiss fairy tale shattered in overtime

Sweden are world champions after defeating Switzerland in an enthralling WFC final. Sweden won 3-2 in overtime.

In the first period, Sweden was placed in unfamiliar terrain. Not a moment during the World Championship was the team behind in score, so when Nathalie Spichiger moved the ball to Margit Scheidegger during a counter, who simply put the ball behind Swedish goalkeeper Amanda Hill, the team had moved onto unknown space. The answer came. Sweden was fanatically looking for the equalizer and received a number of big chances as a result of it, but the players failed to find the net. As the period progressed, Switzerland got more into the game and earned a number of half chances. Sweden scored the equalizer halfway through the period after – in an unfortunate coincidence – the ball ended in the Swiss goal. It had all the characteristics of an own goal but was officially registered to Moa Gustafsson with an assist by Anna Wijk.

Sweden quickly took the lead in the second period after they forced an error on the Swiss side. Although the angle was difficult, Moa Gustafsson was able to tap the ball into the goal with her backhand.  Sweden received two powerplays, but failed to score. Sweden, in particular, was very sloppy in the finish and missed the goal many times. Halfway through the period, Sweden seemed to have finally scored, but after turning to the video footage, the goal was disallowed by the referees because they could not be 100% sure the ball had passed the goal line. Switzerland also got a power play, but strangely enough, it was Sweden that got the most chances with two life-threatening counters. Again, the Swedish inefficiency got in the way of the team and the minimal lead was held. To make matters worse, Anna Wijk shot hard on the post towards the end of the period. The team was not happy, the players visibly frustrated. Due to a miracle, only three goals had been scored so far.

Sweden did their best to increase their lead, while Switzerland made every effort to cash in on the equalizer. Sweden seemed to come close with a nice volley by Anna Wijk, which seemed to pass underneath Lara Heini, but the goalkeeper’s rescue was unreal and extraterrestrial. The Swedish team cheered so hard that the referees once again had to access the video footage, but they soon saw that the ball had not even come close to the goal line. Sweden increased the pressure, but the Swiss defense held up. The game progressed without goals so that meant that Switzerland was forced to get their goalkeeper out for a 6 to 5. Could the team repeat yesterday’s performance on a smaller scale? Things looked grim when Sweden were in ball possession for almost the entire final minute but with 15 seconds to play, Switzerland retrieved the ball and went into a final frontal assault. This was the moment Corin Rüttimann scored en threw her stick in the air in pure excitement after she realized what she had just done.

The game went into overtime. The ball went back and forth but it was Sweden to secure the win when Anna Wijk found Johanna Hultgren who netted the goal delivering the gold medal to Sweden.

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