Relief in Sweden after qualification match win

The first leg of the Olympic qualification match against Denmark left Swedish media not only relieved but so elated that you might think that the team already qualified. The in-match commentary from Dagens Nyheter did change their attitude from "open up the champagne bottles" at 1-4 to "it's 99 % sure" when Denmark reduced to 2-4, but it still seemed like it only was Dennerby and his players that didn't take the Olympic qualification for granted.

In the pre-match comments it had been very much doom and gloom. Not only risked Sweden missing out on a major championship, unprecedented in Sweden's women's football, the national team players would also lose their stipends from the Olympic Committee with possibly dire consequences for a lot of Damallsvenskan clubs. A Denmark win was looked upon as not only possible, but perhaps likely. And this in spite of the fact that Sweden hadn't lost to Denmark for more than five years and, in spite of underperforming, defeated Denmark on their home ground just before the World Cup.

Sweden's confident win has been attributed to Dennerby's "back to basics" approach. Sweden started with the old, comfortable and safe 4-4-2. Dennerby went for old, comfortable and safe in defense and let Sjögran and Schelin play in the centre, where they are used to roam in their clubs, instead of on the wings. Not until Hanna Ljungberg was deemed not fit to start, the team was spiced up with an unexpected debutant. Both the defense and Sjögran/Schelin lived up to his expectations and debutant Jessica Landström must have exceeded them. Not only did she score, she played well, unconcerned that she was now on the big arena, and worked fine with Lotta Schelin.

The 22 year old Hammarby player was in a great mood after the match and wow-ed when she was shown the sport section of one of the major papers, with herself sharing the front page with Henrik Larsson "I'm gonna frame that!".
Jessica Landström played for Dennerby when he coached Djurgården 2003-2004, but didn't get much playing time and didn't get a renewed contract. She joined the smaller Stockholm side Hammarby, with a complete lack of self-confidence says En Perlskog who coached her, but began to work her way back. Not without problems though and a year ago she was close to giving up top football, as it seemed a far too expensive and time-consuming hobby. She was however convinced to look upon herself as first and foremost a footballer and it seems like the committment has worked well for her.  But to me is seems a little bit early to brand her "the next big thing" or Sweden's Wambach.
?Du får mig aldrig att säga att det är klart? , Simon Bank: ?Ett lag reste sig ur spillrorna efter VM?  Dagens Nyheter: Raka spåret till Peking
Jessica Landström var nära att sluta med fotbollen - nu är hon Sveriges ny fotbollshjälte 
SVT: OS-kvalhjältinnan: Jag bara njuter (video)

The second leg of the qualification matches will be played November 28. Umeå keep training as they have the UEFA Cup quarter finals in November and the big clubs (Djurgården, Malmö, Linköping) has agreed to keep on training until the national team reassembles on November 21, but players from the smaller clubs will have some problems keeping fit. Jessica Landström will be training with Djurgården and Sunnanå's Hanna Marklund has found some high-school boy's teams.

Aftonbladet: Marklund ska hålla formen med skollag

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