Sjögran reaches 200 in Sweden loss to Germany

Therese Sjögran became only the third European to earn 200 caps as Sweden lost 2-1 to Germany, Lotta Schelin scoring a team record 73rd international goal.

Therese Sjögran in action against Germany
Therese Sjögran in action against Germany ©Getty Images

It was a record-breaking night for Sweden as Therese Sjögran became only the third European to earn 200 caps and Lotta Schelin scored a national best 73rd international goal in the Blågult's 2-1 loss to Germany.

Sjögran follows Germany's Birgit Prinz and Denmark's Katrine Pedersen in reaching a double century. "To do it at home, against Germany. It couldn't be better," said the 37-year-old FC Rosengård midfielder.

Schelin's strike takes her one ahead of Hanna Ljungberg's long-standing Sweden goals record, having equalled it last month by adding to Sjögran's early header in the 2-0 defeat of Scotland that confirmed their FIFA Women's World Cup participation next summer.

But the focus on Wednesday was on Sjögran, nearly 17 years to the day since her Sweden debut against the United States in Chattanooga. She helped Sweden to the 2003 World Cup final in the US, though lost to Germany, and is set for her 11th major tournament in Canada, having previously played in the global competition three times as well as four UEFA Women's EUROs and three Olympic Games.

Sjögran celebrates her goal against Italy
Sjögran celebrates her goal against Italy©Getty Images

Asked by the Swedish Football Association (SvFF)'s website which of her many matches she remembers the best, Sjögran replied: "The World Cup final of 2003, the bronze-medal match of 2011 and the match against Italy at the EUROs in Sweden last year."

Sjögran – who has won the league three times with her current club in a spell that began in 2001 – missed out on the 2012 Olympics because of an injury that made her a doubt for last year's eagerly-awaited home European finals. "Coming on against Italy with the EUROs in full progress meant a lot to me," Sjögran said. "I got to show that I still had what it takes. It has helped me carry on playing. If it wasn't for that I would not have been playing football today."

How one newspaper saluted Sjögran this morning on their front page...

As for Germany, the win on Wednesday, thanks to late goals from Dzsenifer Marozsán and Alexandra Popp following Schelin's opener, is a boost after their World Cup preparations began on Saturday with a 2-0 home loss to France. That ended an 18-game winning streak going back to before last year's UEFA Women's EURO final victory.

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