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Norway coach Bjarne Berntsen pointed to hard work and hours of analysis for his side's UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ quarter-final defeat of neighbours Sweden, setting up a rematch with Germany, who beat them 4-0 in the group stage. Thomas Dennerby of Sweden cut a devastated figure and suggested that his side cracked under the pressure of their pre-match favouritism, before paying tribute to Victoria Sandell Svensson, who bowed out after a Swedish record 166 caps and scored her 68th goal for her country in the closing stages.
Bjarne Berntsen, Norway coach
It was a very, very good game for us. We kept very tight between our defence and midfield so that Sweden's creative players like Lotta Schelin and Victoria Sandell Svensson did not get the space they are very good in. That was really the key factor, and also that we scored first. We have worked extremely hard since we met on 27 July. We had a long period without the squad together since the end of April so we needed a good four weeks before we started the tournament.
Sweden have to be disappointed because they played such good football earlier this year, but when it came to the most important game they were not at their best. We were very well prepared to stop Sweden, I am very proud of my analysis observer team who do all the work for me and my coaches before games. We have watched hours and hours and hours of Sweden playing. I see it as a great victory as there were very few outside our players or our group who thought we could beat Sweden. We have to study [Germany] closely and do a better job than in the first game, even though it was only 1-0 after 90 minutes then they hammered us in four minutes of injury time. There will be a lot of Norway players looking to get revenge.
Thomas Dennerby, Sweden coach
I am as disappointed as a coach can be. The pressure on the players was too high. Everybody at home said that Sweden has to win 3-0 and if we lose it is only one thing, a big scandal. The players are human beings, they get nervous. Of course we tried to cool them down but in the first half they were very stressed in their play. What a tough day to be a coach! We wanted to get to the final, the girls were very open about that and we were too. We knew it was a tough route, if we won our group we would meet probably Germany in the semi-final but we had a feeling that the team was so good this year we could make it. But here we are again. [Sandell Svensson] is an excellent player. The greatest in Sweden ever. She is very sad for the moment, of course, but we have to wish her good luck and thank her for all her performances for the Swedish national team. This wasn't the way she wanted to quit, of course.
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