Kosovare Asllani and Madelen Janogy scored late on as fancied Sweden laboured to a 2-0 victory over women’s World Cup debutants Chile in their Group F encounter at Roazhon Park in Rennes on Tuesday.
The match was interrupted for 45 minutes by lightning and torrential rain in the second half, but Chile had to weather a storm of a different sort on the pitch as Sweden enjoyed the majority of possession and chances.
They had found Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler an impenetrable wall until Asllani profited from a poor attempt to clear the ball by Camila Saez on 83 minutes and arrowed her shot into the top corner.
Substitute Janogy then sealed the points with an excellent solo goal in stoppage time as she danced past three defenders before crashing the ball beyond a helpless Endler
Chile created little in the way of chances, and battled to keep possession, giving the ball away on 70 occasions in the first 45 minutes.
Endler saved smartly from Nilla Fischer’s header at a corner, expertly reaching backwards to claw the ball to safety, in the best chance of the first half.
Sweden created a number of half-chances at the start of the second period as they tried to pass their way through Chile, with Fridolina Rolfo’s effort deflected just wide of the goal.
Shortly afterwards the rain started lashing down, but before the players left the pitch on 72 minutes, Magdalena Eriksson flashed a shot from the edge of the box narrowly over the bar.
The lengthy break should have allowed Chile to catch their breath and re-organise, but when the game resumed, it was more of the same.
Endler tipped a curling Sofia Jakobsson shot over the bar as Sweden continued to press for the opener, which finally came when Asllani provided the clinical touch that had been missing from most of the match and Janogy showed her class with a sublime finish.