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Schelin praise for 'old gem' Sjögran

Published: Wednesday 17 July 2013, 0.50CET
Lotta Schelin sang the praises of team-mate Therese Sjögran after the veteran FC Malmö midfielder helped propel host nation Sweden into the last eight at Women's EURO.
by Sujay Dutt
from Halmstad
 

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Published: Wednesday 17 July 2013, 0.50CET

Schelin praise for 'old gem' Sjögran

Lotta Schelin sang the praises of team-mate Therese Sjögran after the veteran FC Malmö midfielder helped propel host nation Sweden into the last eight at Women's EURO.

Sweden forward Lotta Schelin hailed the display of veteran team-mate Therese Sjögran after the FC Malmö midfielder came off the bench to help kick-start the hosts against Italy.

Schelin called Sjögran "an old gem" after the 36-year-old stepped onto the pitch after the half-time break and within two minutes helped put the host nation in front, setting them on their way to a 3-1 triumph that sealed top spot in Group A.

Despite their defeat, Italy had the consolation of runners-up spot in the section and their own last-eight berth, and goalkeeper Chiara Marchitelli claimed the side's performance was not as bad as the scoreline in Halmstad suggested.

Therese Sjögran, Sweden midfielder
It's important for the confidence to win the last match and hopefully get a good quarter-final. So it was an important win. We really wanted to win. I got a great ball from Lotta and intended to cross it but it touches a defender and goes in. That was lucky. It's good when your first touch goes in.

It was nice to get into it properly from the beginning. It was a good way to come off the bench. I missed the Olympics last year but I've got the same feeling as I had during the World Cup. There's harmony in the squad and a sense of security. A good feeling.

Lotta Schelin, Sweden forward
Things felt good, I felt alert and tried to run a lot. At the start of the second half, suddenly – bang – we started to play really good attacking football and scored two quick goals. I just kept working at it today, it felt good.

It says a lot about the team that we were able to cope without 'Kosse' [striker Kosovare Asllani], who is a fantastic player and we need her. But it shows that we have fantastic players on the bench, there's a constant fight for places. Therese is an old gem. She's been around for a long time and knows what she's doing. It was good to have her play and be decisive.

It feels good to be through. It means we'll be on a good side of the draw. Let's see how France and Germany do, but they're favourites who might end up on the other side of the quarters and semis. Of course that's positive. But we still need to win all our matches to go all the way.

It was a fantastic atmosphere. When there's a full house, that's always the case. The Swedes in the stands are good, they help us an incredible amount. It's great fun.

Chiara Marchitelli, Italy goalkeeper
Unfortunately, after the break, maybe we lost our concentration a little for ten minutes. We conceded the two goals straight away and then a third, but I think we need to talk up our performance, particularly in the first half, because we held our own well. We also caused them problems in the second half, both with the goal and on other occasions.

We need to pay more attention, otherwise teams like Sweden punish you the moment your concentration levels drop.

We're certainly happy to have qualified, but we were still hoping to do well in this game. It's great to play in front of such a crowd, which is something we're not used to in Italy. It's always great to play sides like Sweden.

We'll watch the Germany v Norway game, but having got to this stage, one is as good as the other. They are all great sides and it's going to be yet another battle for us.

Sara Gama, Italy defender
We did well tactically in the first half and we could have hurt them on the break. We thought we would carry that on in the second half, but then we conceded the first goal, helping them a bit in the process. They gained more courage and came out of their shells, also making it harder for us.

I think we've narrowed the gap a bit physically so this gives us confidence. We had loads of new girls in the side who had never played in a EURO before, so I think that when all is said and done it was a good performance. Sure, we made mistakes and we shouldn't make them because Sweden don't need any gifts.

We wanted to do well and try to win, obviously. But what counted was going through and now we'll have to see what comes.

Last updated: 22/07/13 9.22CET

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