Pictures of Sweden fullback Jonna Andersson taking time out from celebrating her side’s 2-1 World Cup quarter-final victory over Japan to comfort Maika Hamano have spread quickly online as the pair’s club connections became a talking point.
Hamano plays for Andersson’s former club Chelsea, but the 19-year-old Japanese forward has spent the current season at the Swede’s current club Hammarby in Stockholm.
“I got sad because I saw she was sad … I said that she had a lot of championships ahead of her. Obviously she was sad and disappointed,” Andersson, who missed the final penalty in a shootout at the 2021 Olympic final that Sweden lost to Canada, told reporters.
“I hope it was important for her to feel that support, I know she has that support from the national team and the club team. I wanted to show her that I care about her, she’s a fantastic person.”
Their moment together wasn’t the only Hammarby connection in the quarter-final encounter, as Madeleine Janogy came off the bench for Sweden and was penalised for taking down Hamano in the box – but Japan missed the resulting penalty.
“I really longed to show what I can do and help the team, to play my own game. It’s very tough that we didn’t go the whole way,” Hamano, who has struggled with a shoulder injury, told reporters.
“I’m incredibly proud to have played with such a skilful team with so many good players,” she added.
Sweden had taken a 2-0 lead through goals from Amanda Ilestedt and Filippa Angeldahl, but after a late goal by Japan they had to hold out for more than 10 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game as Japan chased an equaliser.
The Swedes will now face Spain in Auckland on Tuesday with a spot in the World Cup final – which neither side has ever won – up for grabs.