Finland aim to break Sweden hoodoo
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
The hosts will defend one of the best head-to-head records in international women's football when they face Finland, coached by Swede Andrée Jeglertz, in Gothenburg.
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Sweden will defend one of the best head-to-head records in international football when they face Finland, coached by a Swede, in Gothenburg, both having drawn their Group A openers.
• Sweden have lost just once in 35 games against Finland, winning 28 and drawing six with a goal tally of 110-16. In nine competitive matches Sweden have seven wins and two draws.
• They each played their first match against each other, a 0-0 draw in Maarianhamin on 25 August 1973. Finland's only win came on 12 July 1976, a 2-1 success in Kallhall. Sweden are unbeaten in 29 fixtures since.
• On 18 August 1982 Sweden won 6-0 in Vammala in their first official competitive women's international fixture. Sweden won the return 5-0 and topped their group on their way to winning the 1984 UEFA European tournament that was the forerunner to the modern Women's EURO.
• The sides played in the 2001 play-offs (Sweden winning 5-1 at home and 5-2 away) and 2005 qualifying; in the last of those four fixtures Finland managed a 1-1 home draw. They then met in the UEFA Women's EURO 2005 finals in Blackpool and drew 0-0; both progressed ahead of Denmark in their group but lost in the last four.
• Their most recent match was a friendly in Pori in July 2009, Sweden winning 3-1.
Selected previous meeting
8 June 2005: Sweden 0-0 Finland - Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, UEFA Women's EURO group stage
Sweden: Lindahl, Törnqvist, Marklund, Bengtsson, Moström, S Larsson, M Andersson, Ljungberg, V Svensson, Schelin (Öqvist 56), Sjögran (Sjöström 72).
Finland: Kunnas, Vaelma, Julin, Valkonen, Salmén, Sarapää, Mäkinen, Mustonen (Talonen 72), Kalmari, Rantanen (Malaska 89), Kackur (Thorn 46).
• In the 2002/03 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship second qualifying round, Sweden beat Finland 1-0 in Vevey, Switzerland. Nilla Fischer started for Sweden with Caroline Seger coming on; Finland included Minna Meriluoto, Tiina Salmén, Annica Sjölund and Leena Puranen plus substitute Sanna Talonen.
• Five years later at the same stage it was a 1-1 draw in St Polten, Austria, as Sweden qualified. Kosovare Asllani started and Sofia Jakobsson came on; Annika Kukkonen started for Finland with Anna Westerlund playing the last 37 minutes.
• Sweden qualified automatically as hosts and have played at both major final tournaments since UEFA Women's EURO 2009. They finished third at the 2011 World Cup, earning a place at the 2012 Olympics.
• That proved less of a success, as after coming through the group stage Sweden lost 2-1 in the quarter-finals to France, who they had beaten to World Cup bronze.
• Pia Sundhage led the United States to gold in London and in September 2012 replaced Thomas Dennerby as coach of her native Sweden.
• Sundhage was part of the Sweden team that won the inaugural 1984 UEFA competition, still their only major honour. In the final against England she scored the only goal of the home leg in Gothenburg and, although Sweden lost 1-0 six days later, Sundhage converted the winning penalty in the shoot-out.
• Finland qualified from Group 5 with a game to spare, winning six, drawing one and losing one of their eight games. They drew 2-2 in Belarus and lost their last match 1-0 at home to Ukraine having already clinched first place.
• Finland coach Andrée Jeglertz suffered a 4-0 defeat against compatriot Sundhage's United States team on 7 March 2011 in the Algarve Cup.
• Jeglertz coached Umeå IK from 2004 to 2008 and among his players were Lisa Dahlqvist and Jakobsson.
• All three UEFA Women's Champions League/UEFA Women's Cup meetings between clubs from these nations have gone the way of the Swedish side. In the inaugural 2001/02 semi-finals Umeå IK won 2-1 at home and 1-0 away against HJK Helsinki.
• In the 2003/04 second qualifying round, FC Malmö overcame FC United Jakobstad Pietarsaa 3-0 in Chernigov, Ukraine. Malmö included Fischer and Therese Sjögran with Hedvig Lindahl on the bench; Sjölund was among the United players.
• Many of Finland's squad play in Sweden and will be facing past and current club-mates. Finland's Tuija Hyyrynen plays alongside Emmelie Konradsson for Umeå.