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Sundhage salutes 'deserved' Sweden triumph

"This team deserve to be in the semi-finals, anything else would have been a travesty," said Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, while Iceland bowed out with their pride intact.

Sundhage salutes 'deserved' Sweden triumph
Sundhage salutes 'deserved' Sweden triumph ©UEFA.com

Pia Sundhage, Sweden coach 
It was do or die against an opponent that I felt we were superior to. This team has such fantastic attacking qualities, and it crossed my mind what would happen if they didn't click on the day or if we conceded a soft goal from a free-kick. These feelings I had were very strong, it was strange. This team deserve to be in the semi-finals, anything else would have been a travesty.

We haven't yet faced a team like Germany, who have so much experience in a tournament like this and make you work very hard. Iceland had, however, so my feelings started to become positive ones.

The entire coaching staff were against my decision to keep Nilla Fischer on the pitch, with her being one booking away from missing the next game. It was a massive gamble on my part but I wanted to let Emmelie Konradsson and Antonia Göransson have a go. You have to believe in football and I eventually believed that everything would work out fine today. Nilla got a further 90 minutes under her belt and she's been one of our best players.

Siggi Eyjolfsson, Iceland coach
It was a tough game. I want to congratulate Sweden – they played well today, too well for us. It was a fair result but I'm a bit disappointed we didn't give them a good match, especially during the first half. We were better in the second half and created some chances. We conceded some easy goals and you can't do that against Sweden with the great players that they have. So, I'm a little disappointed in the way we defended but I'm also very proud of the team for all they have achieved at this tournament. We go home proud. 

The preparations for this tournament were really difficult with some poor results, while a few players picked up some injuries. Expectations were low in Iceland but we also had faith in our ability as a team, and the team really pulled together and performed under pressure. I'm very proud that we managed to get our first point, win and also reach the quarter-finals for the first time. To be a part of it has been an honour and a privilege.

It's been a great honour to work with Katrin [Jónsdóttir] over the past seven years. It was a very emotional game for her and it was symbolic that she came off with ten minutes to go to be replaced with a very promising young defender, who is only 18. Hopefully she will follow in her footsteps.