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Hammarström: Positive start was vital

Marie Hammarström said the "nerves vanished" after scoring three minutes into Sweden's 4-0 win against Iceland, while Kosovare Asllani savoured the freedom to play.

Marie Hammarström receives the adulation of her team-mates after opening the scoring
Marie Hammarström receives the adulation of her team-mates after opening the scoring ©Sportsfile

Marie Hammarström stressed the importance of making a positive start after breaking the deadlock three minutes into Sweden's stylish 4-0 UEFA Women's EURO 2013 quarter-final defeat of Iceland.

The 31-year-old midfielder has a knack of scoring important goals and repeated the trick in Halmstad, before Lotta Schelin registered either side of Josefine Öqvist's effort. Adroit dribbler Kosovare Asllani produced a virtuoso display and attributed Sweden's success to a combination of hard work and the respect they afforded their opponents. "Every game is getting tougher," added Hammarström ahead of a semi-final showdown with Germany next Wednesday in Gothenburg.

Marie Hammarström, Sweden midfielder
It was very nice to get a good start. The nerves vanished when we went ahead and then we kept on pushing forward for the next 20 minutes. Perhaps we took our foot off the gas slightly towards the end of the second half but it was great to go into the break 3-0 up. They retreated almost immediately, allowing me space to move into and then to shoot was an instinctive reaction.

It was a wonderful feeling to see the ball hit the back of the net. It's been a tough tournament but we've approached games in the right manner and made good starts. It makes you nervous when you don't start well, but we did today. Every game is getting tougher and we’re expecting no different in the semi-finals.

Kosovare Asllani, Sweden forward and player of the match 
It was a fun game to play in. They sat quite deep which gave me space to exploit. Lotta and I worked really well together. We knew Iceland had grown in stature throughout the tournament and can go long periods without conceding. The best thing for us was getting the early goal. After that we could relax and play our usual passing game. We worked extremely hard and respected our opponents – that’s why we're in the semi-final.