Sweden finishes training camp with narrow victory
Sweden: Sofia Lundgren (46 Carola Söberg) - Anna Paulsson, Hanna Marklund (46 Karolina Westberg), Stina Segerström, Caroline Näfver - Salina Olsson (77 Caroline Seger), Victoria Svensson (69 Therese Sjögran), Nilla Fischer - Josefine Öqvist (46Frida Nordin), Therese Lundin (69 Maria Aronsson), Lotta Schelin.
Goals: 1-0 Nilla Fischer (79)
National team head coach Thomas Dennerby was very pleased with his team after the match: "This was really, really good". Sweden was completely superior in an intense, high-paced match with tough duels.
"I think they managed to get over to our side of the field a total of three times in the second half", Dennerby tried to explain the lack of goals, "so it was pretty crowded on Scotland's side". Since Carola Söberg's national team debut occured in the second half, it also became rather laid back without any opportunities to prove herself.
Scotland's attacking game lost it's driving force when Arsenal striker Julie Fleeting was forced to step off in half-time after a collision early in the first half.
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Going to the week long training camp, Dennerby had stated that they were not there to win matches. Just before going away, the team had their yearly fitness tests and the camp continued with a focus on the traditional Swedish strength and fitness preseason training. They even had a training session only hours before the kick-off for the Scotland match.
In a couple of interviews before the camp, Dennerby addressed the question of the retirement of Malin Moström, Anna Sjöström and Linda Fagerström (277 caps between them). "When four midfielders leaves [he also mentions Djurgården's Elin Ekblom, who turned down any further national team assignments a couple of weeks ago], it makes the selection easier. [...] When this happens, usually somebody else steps forward and blossoms. I'm primarily thinking of Therese Sjögran. She might take that last step". Also Frida Östberg, by the way very emotional over the absence of her close friends Malin and Anna, pointed at Sjögran: "She has always excelled on training, but she has been moved around a lot in the team and maybe hasn't felt secure. I believe a lot in her."
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