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Sweden resolute ahead of final assault

Published: Monday 19 November 2007, 20.04CET
Sweden will bid to complete their quest for a finals place on home soil against Latvia, after Lars Lagerbäck conceded they had lost to a "better team" in Spain.
by Jan Juhlin
from Gothenburg
 
Published: Monday 19 November 2007, 20.04CET

Sweden resolute ahead of final assault

Sweden will bid to complete their quest for a finals place on home soil against Latvia, after Lars Lagerbäck conceded they had lost to a "better team" in Spain.

Sweden will bid to complete their quest for a finals place on home soil against Latvia, after Lars Lagerbäck conceded they had lost to a "better team" in Spain at the weekend.

No disgrace
Saturday's 3-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu represented Sweden's heaviest UEFA European Championship loss since a 4-1 reverse against Czechoslovakia in the 1980 qualifiers. But Lagerbäck refused to be too downhearted. A draw against Latvia on Wednesday would still be enough to take Sweden to UEFA EURO 2008™, with the coach saying: "It's in our hands and even though we didn't perform as we had wanted against Spain, we have to remember that they are probably one of the best teams in the world.

Uncharacteristic goals
"It's quite simple – we were up against a better team and we can't complain about the result," he continued. "They scored from two corners which is unnecessary and not something we are used to seeing. If I'm correct, I think we've only conceded one goal from a corner in the last ten years. A loss like this is perhaps easier to take as it was a fair result."

Latvia beckons
Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimović worked tirelessly for no reward in Madrid, but was happy to put the Group F defeat behind him and concentrate on Latvia. "There's a lot of talk about me not scoring, but to be honest it's not that important," said the FC Internazionale Milano striker. "We played a good side and lost against them. Now we have a good chance of securing a place in the finals on home soil in Sweden, and that's something that will spur us on."

 
Last updated: 19/11/07 15.28CET

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