A first-night draw has turned up the heat on Sweden and Pia Sundhage says her players must take on more responsibility against a Finland side happier with their opening point.
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Pia Sundhage has applied some subtle pressure to her Sweden players by demanding that they lend a little bit more to the team cause when they seek a first win in Group A against Finland in Gothenburg.
After the disappointment of their opening 1-1 draw with Denmark which included two missed penalties, the Swedish coach is determined that another opportunity does not go astray. For her counterpart, Andrée Jeglertz, it's a special occasion as he faces his home country. Split loyalties? No way, he retorts.
Pia Sundhage, Sweden coach
Finland looked very organised in the last game and it will be very important for us to keep possession. And speed of play will be the most important thing of all. I respect our opponents and I respect the game. Which means that our focus is to score one goal more than Finland.
We’ve now had the experience of playing in front of a large crowd. We’ve talked it over. Many of the players felt butterflies in their stomachs and for some of them that is a negative, but I think it can also be a positive. The longer we keep at this, the more positive the butterflies will be, and that will be fantastic.
If you talk about free roles in the team, well in one way we don’t have any. But then on the other hand we have eleven free roles. It’s about playing your own role, and when things go really well – then you step out of it and do a little more for the team. Against Denmark everyone tried to play their role, I don’t think anyone stepped away from their role. Now against Finland I hope that several will break through the limitations, that they go beyond just fulfilling their own role.
Matchday one result
Sweden 1-1 Denmark (Fischer 35; Knudsen 26)
K Hammarström; Samuelsson, Rohlin, Fischer, Thunebro; Öqvist (Jakobsson 79), Seger, M Hammarström, Göransson (Dahlqvist 63); Schelin, Asllani.
• Player of the match: Stina Petersen
There are no injuries to report and Sweden expect to be at full strength.
Andrée Jeglertz, Finland coach
We know that we probably need to win one game to qualify since we took a point from the first game. I think we have a good chance of winning against Sweden. All our preparations are for winning but we know that we have nothing to lose. That no matter what, even if we don’t win we have another chance on Tuesday.
This is a young team and we have been working on how to handle the pressure here. Nobody’s expecting Finland to go far in this tournament and that suits us very well.
I have been working with these players for three and a half years and I have a lot of emotion for this team. When I enter the game tomorrow there is no doubt where my heart is. I will do everything to make Sweden suffer. It will be special of course, but I will do everything I can to beat Sweden.
It’s an advantage that many of our players are based in Sweden. They know that they’re capable of beating them. And also everyone knows the history between Finland and Sweden in every sport. It’s always a special game and this is no different.
Matchday one result
Italy 0-0 Finland
Korpela, Hyyrynen, Kivistö, Lehtinen, Kukkonen, Alanen, Heroum, Westerlund, Tolvanen (Kuikka 73), Talonen, Sjölund (Lyytikäinen 61).
• Player of the match: Anna Westerlund
All 23 players took part in training and Jeglertz also looks like having the luxury of picking from strength.
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.
Did you know?
Jeglertz coached Umeå IK from 2004 to 2008 and among his players were Lisa Dahlqvist and Sofia Jakobsson.