World Cup Qualifier: Czech republic - Sweden

Czech republic - Sweden 2 - 3   (1-1)
Sweden: Caroline Jönsson, Malmö FF - Sara Larsson Linköping FC, Hanna Marklund Sunnanå SK, Stina Segerström KIF Örebro, Frida Östberg Linköping FC - Linda Fagerström Djurgården/Älvsjö, Malin Moström Umeå IK, Therese Sjögran Malmö FF (63 Caroline Seger Linköping FC), Anna Sjöström Umeå IK (73 Sara Johansson Hammarby) - Lotta Schelin Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, Victoria Svensson Djurgården/Älvsjö (86 Therese Lundin Malmö FF).
Goals: 1-0 Pavlina Scasna (2), 1-1 Sara Larsson (23), 1-2 Lotta Schelin (62), 2-2 Alexandra Mouchova (67), 2-3 Lotta Schelin (69)

- "It wasn't my best national team match, but deciding an important match like this feels great". Lotta Schelin certainly lived up to expectations when she scored two goals for Sweden, filling in for injured Hanna Ljungberg in Sweden's attack.

Defeating Czech republic was much harder work than expected but coach Thomas Dennerby was satisfied with one thing: "We got the work done. But it was never a great match."

The Czech team got a great start when player of the match Pavlina Scasna barely two minutes into the game beat Stina Segerström to the ball and put it just beyond the reach of Sweden's goalkeeper Caroline Jönsson. Sweden continued to have problems in defense and were on several occations saved by good goalkeeping from Jönsson. Sweden equalised after 22 minutes when Sara Larsson headed in a hard, well placed corner kick by Linda Fagerström and began to gain control of the midfield, but didn't manage to create much up front.

In the middle of the second half the match was decided, when Lotta Schelin twice ran through the somewhat shaky Czech defense to score from well placed assists by Victoria Svensson and Anna Sjöström. But the Czech also knew the importance of the match and kept working for at least an equaliser. They managed once, when Alexandra Mouchova shot from close range following a corner kick where the Swedish team once again were having big problems winning the ball and getting it out of the penalty area, and had other close shots but Sweden managed to hold on to their lead.

"We're not in the World Cup yet, but I think we've opened the door slightly", was Dennerby's answer when asked about the significance of the win. But the match also showed that qualifying for the big events is no longer a formality for Sweden. The competition is closing up.

Dagens Nyheter: Schelin fixade viktig kvalseger mot Tjeckien
Svt: Schelin sköt Sverige närmare VM
TV4: Schelin sköt Sverige mot VM , video clip

Some other Damallsvenskan players in international action this weekend: Hammarby's Marijke Callebaut scored for Belgium as they fell 2-4 at home to Spain. Djurgården/Älvsjö striker Laura Kalmari, celebrating her 100th appearence for the Finnish national team, got a hattrick when Finland defeated Poland 5-1. Sanna Valkonen and Anne Mäkinen (Umeå), Jessica Julin (Göteborg) and  Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (Linköping) also started and Bälinge's Minna Mustonen joined as a second half substitute.


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