As usual: Sweden lose opening match

Sweden - China  1 - 2 (1-1)
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl - Frida Östberg, Sara Larsson, Charlotte Rohlin, Sara Thunebro - Nilla Fischer (76 Jessica Landström) - Josefine Öqvist (73 Linda Forsberg), Caroline Seger, Therese Sjögran (83 Johanna Almgren) - Victoria Svensson, Lotta Schelin
Goals: 0-1 Xu Yuan (6), 1-1 Lotta Schelin (38), 1-2 Han Duan (72)
Attendance: 37,902
Sweden has never won an opening match in a World Cup or an Olympic tournament. Not now either. You can find match reports in English at several international sites, including
Fifa, so I don't have to bother you with that. And the Beijing 2008 official site is good for line-ups and such.
Swedish post-game reactions are pretty harsh. "Yet another flop", "Weak losers" and "Failing when it counts" was some of the phrases used. In particular the defense got bad reviews and the lack of creativity and movement in the attack. Even usually smiling coach Thomas Dennerby was unhappy: "We underperformed and we made mistakes that led to both China's goals." The players were more in a "lets move on"-mood, not interested in brooding over the defeat, "But I'm sure you will do that", Lotta Schelin told a reporter.
On the brighter side, this was a better performance than in the opener against Nigeria in the Women's World Cup last year. I liked some of the things I saw. Hedvig Lindahl's gutsy goalkeeping, often outside her area, opened for Swedish counters, one of which eventually led to the equaliser. The long period from the middle of the first until Han's goal, that actually came against the current, when Sweden played with confidence and dominated. And in the other group match, neither Canada or Argentina showed anything that should scare Sweden.
SVT: Nattsvart för Dennerbys damer - lot's of videoclips here, including the full match. I'm guessing some of these are blocked for viewing outside Sweden, but have a try.

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