It may come a little later than initially scheduled, but a first-time women’s football Olympic champion will be crowned at the International Stadium Yokahama today.
Concerns over the scorching Tokyo morning heat, expected to hit 34 degrees, led to Sweden’s gold-medal bout with Canada being pushed back to 9pm local time (1pm BST).
Sweden suffered the heartbreak of falling at the final hurdle in Rio five years ago, losing 2-1 to Germany at the Maracana, but have dazzled in Tokyo.
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They arrive in the final with a perfect win record, scoring thirteen and conceding just three times.
Canada make their debut in the gold medal match, having made it third time lucky and taking a United States sized scalp on route.
Consecutive semi-final losses in London and Rio both ended with bronze medals, and the Canadians will be buoyed by a famous defeat of the world champions to reach the final in Tokyo.
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Road to the final - Sweden
Played five, won five – Peter Gerhardsson’s Sweden arrive in the final in ferocious form.
Far from a flash in the pan, a stunning 3-0 dismantling of the United States in their opening match served as a sign of things to come.
Stina Blackstenius’ brace set Sweden on course to end the world champion’s 44-game unbeaten streak.
A thrilling 4-2 victory over Australia and a comfortable 2-0 defeat of New Zealand followed to send Sweden through as Group G winners with a perfect record.
Hosts Japan proved no great obstacle in the quarter-final, Blackstenius again on the scoresheet for her fourth goal of the Games in a 3-1 victory.
The semi-final saw a rematch with Australia in a far cagier contest than the group stage epic.
Barcelona forward Fridolina Rolfo’s goal was enough to seal a 1-0 victory for the Swedes and send them back to their second consecutive Olympic final.
Road to the final - Canada
Not quite flawless, but far from flawed, Canada also boast an unbeaten record in Tokyo.
A late equaliser from the hosts saw Priestman’s side begin their Games journey with a 1-1 draw against Japan.
Manchester City’s Janine Beckie fired a brace to sink Chile 2-1, teeing up a final match with Great Britain to decide top spot in the group.
It was déjà vu as another late goal conceded led to a 1-1 draw, but five points was comfortably enough to send the Canadians through to the quarter-finals against Brazil.
A nail-biting goalless encounter went to penalties, where Stephanie Labbe made herself a national hero with two saves to send her side to a third consecutive Games semi-final.
One shot on target, one giant killing – Chelsea’s Jessie Fleming’s penalty enough to give Canada a famous victory over tournament favourites the United States.
Chelsea have a trio of Swedes in the final – defensive pair Magdalena Eriksson and Jonna Andersson, as well as goalkeeper Zecira Musovic.
Musovic is yet to start at the Games, though Eriksson is set to captain the side and will look to add Games gold to Women’s Super League glory last year.
Everton have a pair of new signings in the Swedish side, defender Nathalie Bjorn and forward Anna Anvegard.
Buoyed by her semi-final penalty heroics, Fleming will be looking to foil her team-mates alongside three more WSL Canadians.
City’s Beckie has enjoyed an excellent Games, whilst Adriana Leon and Shelina Zadorsky of West Ham and Spurs respectively have also played key roles on route to the final.
Striker showdown - Blackstenius v Beckie
With four goals, Blackstenius is the top scorer left in the competition.
Plying her trade with BK Hacken in the Swedish league, the 25-year-old will be looking to score in her second straight gold medal match.
Coming on as a second half substitute against Germany in the gold medal match in Rio five years ago, Blackstenius pulled one back for Sweden in the 2-1 defeat.
With three goals in Rio five years ago, Manchester City’s Beckie will be looking to equal that tally with a goal in the final in Tokyo.
The 26-year-old signed for City in 2018 from US side Sky Blue FC, scoring a hat-trick on her champions league debut for the Citizens.
She played 14 times in City’s WSL campaign last year, scoring 4 times as City were pipped to the title by Chelsea.
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