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Slick Sweden see off valiant Finland

Published: Wednesday 22 July 2009, 15.35CET
Finland 1-3 Sweden
Sweden are now unbeaten in eight games this calendar year but were made to work hard for their win by a determined Finland side.
by Salttu Forsström
Slick Sweden see off valiant Finland
Finland's Anna-Kaisa Rantanen tackles Lina Nilsson during her side's friendly defeat ©FA of Finland/Jussi Es
Published: Wednesday 22 July 2009, 15.35CET

Slick Sweden see off valiant Finland

Finland 1-3 Sweden
Sweden are now unbeaten in eight games this calendar year but were made to work hard for their win by a determined Finland side.

Finland 1-3 Sweden
Sweden continued their impressive record in 2009 by defeating UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ hosts Finland in Pori although they were made to work hard for their victory.

First-half advantage
Sweden, who had beaten China 2-0 on Sunday, scored early and were two goals to the good by the break. However, Finland were creating chances of their own and got one back just after the restart. Nonetheless, the visitors restored their two-goal cushion soon after and held Michael Käld's team at bay thereafter to remain unbeaten in eight games this calendar year.

Identical strikes
Therese Sjögran got Sweden off to a flying start in the seventh minute when she burst through the heart of the Finnish defence and placed an accurate shot beyond Tinja-Riikka Korpela. Just past the half-hour mark, her fellow goalscorer from the win over China, Jessica Landström, doubled her side's lead by again exploiting a sizeable gap in Finland's back line to fire in.

Finland efforts
Although Sweden were the team in charge during the first stanza, the hosts also had their chances with Linda Sällström and Essi Sainio spurning good opportunities to get one back. However, three minutes after the break, Finland did reduce the deficit when Sällström stole possession in a dangerous area and struck into the bottom corner.

'Disappointing'
Within six minutes, though, Sweden had responded in kind when Charlotte Rohlin headed in a corner kick. Back came Finland and Sällström came close to a second as her vicious shot forced Ulla-Karin Rönnlund to fumble. Substitute Sanna Talonen pounced on the rebound, but placed her shot wide. Neither side could force any more significant openings and Finland coach Käld said: "We gave Sweden easy goals and that is a bit disappointing. In the second half we improved and our substitutes made a big impact. We created enough chances and should have scored more than once."

Countdown
Finland complete their preparations for the finals against Northern Ireland at the Helsinki Football Stadium on 10 August and 13 days later meet Denmark in their Group A opener before taking on the Netherlands and Ukraine. Sweden face Norway in an Enkoping friendly on 19 August and six days later take on Russia in Turku before further Group C encounters with Italy and England.

Finland: Korpela; Saari, Vaelma (Westerlund, 71), Salmén (Valkonen, 46), Niemi (Hyyrynen, 59); Julin, Rantanen (Sjölund, 77), Sainio (Talonen, 46); Österberg Kalmari, Lehtinen, Sällström.

Sweden: Lindahl (Rönnlund, 46); Paulson, Sembrant (Lissel, 17), Rohlin, Thunebro (Nilsson, 58); Asllani (Almgren, 73), Svensson, Seger (Dahlkvist, 46); Sjögran, Landström (Forsberg, 62), Schelin.

Last updated: 23/07/09 13.49CET

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