Sweden have been dealt a blow in their question for Olympic gold after Fridolina Rolfö was ruled out with a fractured metatarsal.
Rolfö’s race run
With each of the last four teams left in the women’s football tournament at Rio 2016 guaranteed two more matches, Sweden will have two play their semi-final as well as medal match without Fridolina Rolfö.
The Linköpings' striker was withdrawn just 18 minutes into Sweden’s quarter final match against the USA and will not feature for her country again this Olympics after it was confirmed she’s fractured a metatarsal in her left foot.
Sweden team doctor Mats Börjesson has suggested the injury will take around six weeks to heal which would see the striker miss five league games but be back in time for Linköpings away tie to KIF Örebro in early November.
The injury occurred inside of the first fifteen minutes as Rolfö tried to bring the ball away, to ease the pressure on the Swedish backline, only to be tackled by Julie Johnson. Whilst Johnson’s tackle was a clean one, Rolfö was forced to vault the defender and landed heavily on her left foot.
Despite trying to walk off the pitch with the physio, it soon became clear that the striker was in too much distress and was forced to hop off before resigning to her fate on the bench.
Her replacement was her partner in crime at Linköpings, Stina Blackstenius, who went on to score Sweden’s only goal in the match to help Blågult make it all the way to penalties, before the Swedes won the shoot-out.
Options for Sundhage
Having started every game of the tournament, Rolfö would have been a good shout to start against Brazil in the semi-final. Even though Sweden are sure to sit back against the hosts, Rolfö’s injury opens the door for Blackstenius.
The 20-year-old has travelled to Rio in fine form for Linköpings, in Sweden are to get anything out of their match against Brazil she will have to be patient and work her opening to break down the Seleção defence.
Following the injury, Sweden boss Pia Sundhage has called-up alternate Pauline Hammarlund. Though relatively unacapped for her country, Hammarlund grabbed a goal on her debut in a Euro 2017 qualifier against Moldova – but couldn’t repeat the feat in her three subsequent appearance.
Even if Sweden fail to progress to the final, both Hammarlund and Blackstenius could write their names in the history books with a strong performance in the bronze medal match.