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Sweden relief as Scotland look to play-offs

"I wish we could take them with us to Canada," said Pia Sundhage of the Gothenburg fans after Sweden qualified by beating a Scotland side keen to negotiate the play-offs.

Pia Sundhage will lead Sweden in next summer's World Cup
Pia Sundhage will lead Sweden in next summer's World Cup ©AFP/Getty Images

Sweden are celebrating after clinching the only one of the seven European FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying groups to go to the final game, defeating Scotland 2-0 in Gothenburg to ensure their place in Canada next summer.

The 2003 runners-up and 2011 bronze-medallists only needed to avoid a 3-1 loss but were ahead on seven minutes when Therese Sjögran, earning her 199th cap, looped in a header. Any lingering doubt was erased when Lotta Schelin equalled Hanna Ljungberg's Sweden scoring record of 72 as she added a second.

Scotland, coached by Swede Anna Signeul and aiming for a maiden final tournament, will now join Italy, the Netherlands and Ukraine in Tuesday's play-off draw, two rounds of home and away ties deciding Europe's eighth and final qualifier. UEFA.com rounds up the reaction.

Pia Sundhage, Sweden coach
Throughout the qualifiers we had terrible difficulty creating chances considering how much we dominated against most teams, but this match showed that we have a great central spine. And our home crowd here in Gothenburg, I wish we could take them with us to Canada. It felt like a World Cup final with the applause that accompanied us at the end.

In the past year we've changed our system in order to get the most out of Caroline Seger. It has been a process of ups and downs, but the players have accepted the system and we'll only keep improving from here.

Lotta Schelin, Sweden striker
Priority number one was securing the World Cup spot. It was a bit nervous. Things looked good for us, but Scotland are a good team. We knew they'd look for the first goal. If they'd got it we might have become nervous, so it was a huge relief when Sjögran headed in the opener.

We've started a process of trying to play more centrally and to have more possession. We keep taking small steps all the time. A medal is absolutely what we're going for now. We got the bronze last time and are looking to improve on that.

Anna Signeul
Anna Signeul©Getty Images

Anna Signeul, Scotland coach
It was a tough ask, but we gave it a go. We didn't create enough in the first half, but we were unlucky not to get a goal or two in the second. We are not dejected, though. We have proved during this campaign that we are a team to be reckoned with and we will be going into the play-offs with confidence. We got very close in both of the [UEFA Women's] EURO play-offs we contested [for 2009 and 2013] and we will be aiming to go all the way this time.

Frankie Brown, Scotland defender
It was always going to be tough. We had to come here and score three goals. We gave it our all, especially in the second half. We took the game to them and did ourselves justice, I think. We did all we could, but they're a good team.

[After half-time] we decided to push up a little higher and, as I said, we needed to score three goals, so we just went for it. The wingers pushed on and as a result the full-backs pushed on and we took the game a little bit higher which made a massive difference.

We need to go into the play-offs with the right attitude because there's still another four games that we need to approach in the right way. We're by no means there yet, but the World Cup is where we're going and I've got no doubt in my mind that this team is heading there. We just need to get past the teams we face next.

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