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Sweden comeback crowns Dennerby farewell

"It was wonderful to finish with a win," said Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby, who ended a seven-year spell in the Blågult hotseat with a 2-1 friendly victory against the Netherlands.

Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby is presented with flowers
Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby is presented with flowers ©Carl Sandin, Bildbyrån

"It was wonderful to finish with a win," said Thomas Dennerby after signing off his seven-year spell as Sweden coach with a 2-1 triumph against the Netherlands.

The encounter was Dennerby's 113th in charge of the Blågult. It was to be his 69th victory and, despite an ominous start, a farewell as bright as the weather in Gothenburg, where Sweden will open UEFA Women's EURO 2013 on 10 July.

The Netherlands enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the first period and a corner on the half-hour mark brought the opening goal, Anouk Hoogendijk rising unchallenged to head in Sylvie Smit's delivery.

Sweden reappeared after the break with a look of steely determination, keen to improve for the final 45 minutes of Dennerby's reign. Nobody impressed more than Caroline Seger, and when she was felled in the Dutch penalty area Lotta Schelin stepped up to equalise.

Seger then played a part in an excellent team move that brought Sweden the lead. From deep, Lisa Dahlkvist found Schelin, who touched it on to Seger from the centre circle. She slipped in Kosovare Asllani, who outpaced Dutch captain Daphne Koster and poked the ball past goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal. Sweden had several chances to add a third, but Van Veenendaal denied them time and again.

Swedish Football Association (SvFF) president Karl-Erik Nilsson thanked Dennerby for his work, highlighting the coach's record of 28 qualifying matches without defeat. "Thanks for an excellent job," said Nilsson, as Dennerby was presented with flowers. Seger, meanwhile, revealed that the players had purchased a gift for Dennerby that she described as "expensive and very nice".

Asked to pick his best and worst memories from his tenure, Dennerby needed little time to reply. "The worst was losing to Norway at UEFA Women's EURO 2009, a year when we otherwise played excellently. The best was the World Cup bronze in 2011."

The Netherlands, meanwhile, hope to join Sweden in the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 finals draw on 9 November and will do so if England do not beat Croatia on Wednesday to snatch first place in Group 6. However, the 2009 semi-finalists may still earn automatic qualification and avoid the play-offs as best runners-up.

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