An injury-time goal from substitute Jessica Landström kept up Sweden's 100 per cent record in UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying Group 2 and saw off nearest rivals Italy.
Sweden, Italy and the Republic of Ireland were level on 12 points at kick-off having played four, five and six of eight games respectively. And substitute Landström's timely strike lifted Sweden's record to five wins out of five and 23 goals scored without reply, delighting a crowd of more than 7,000 in Orebro.
It was hard work for Thomas Dennerby's team, however, as with Lotta Schelin, Hanna Ljungberg and Victoria Svensson all out they struggled to find their shape in attack. "At the interval we talked about playing more passes through their defence, but we still had problems opening the game up," said Dennerby. Indeed, the second half served up much of the same and it was not until the dying moments that Landström, a 61st-minute substitution, latched on to a through ball from Sara Larsson, and rifled in.
One win away
The result means that if Sweden beat Ireland in Dublin on 25 June, they will qualify for the finals next summer in Finland with two games to spare. Italy have the consolation of knowing that if they win in Romania on 24 May and Ireland lose to Sweden, the Azzurre will be assured of a play-off place in the autumn.