International Challenge Match
Sweden 1-0 Scotland
Tuesday, 13 June 2017, kick-off 5pm (UK Time)
Myresjöhus Arena, Vjaxo
Sweden: Seger (83)
Up against the sixth best team in the world, Scotland put in an impressive defensive performance against Sweden but ultimately lost 1-0.
Shots on the Swedish goal were a rarity but at the other end Gemma Fay and her defence were kept busy and they put in countless blocks, tackles and saves, keeping the Swedes at bay.
It took until the 83rd minute for Sweden to break the deadlock in a performance that will give Anna hope that her team can deal with the best nations ahead of the Euro 2017 opener against England on 19, July.
Ranked sixth in the world, Sweden started the brighter and had an early chance with a header bouncing inches wide of Gemma Fay’s goal.
The Scotland goalkeeper made her 199th appearance for her country and was busy in the first 20 minutes having to guide her defence through an onslaught and palm away a number of crosses and shots.
For the second game in a row, Vaila Barsley was a stand-out in the heart of the Scottish defence, snuffing out constant attacks, using her height to nod away any signs of danger.
Frankie Brown proved to be Scotland’s saviour after 43 minutes when a shot looked destined for the back of the net amidst a stramash but the right back stood firm and provided a crucial block.
Scotland put in a gargantuan defensive effort throughout the 90 minutes under constant pressure and Lisa Evans put her body on the line to clear away a goal bound shot after 73 minutes.
Two minutes later, Sweden hit the crossbar but Scotland managed to promptly clear the rebound.
The visitors’ resistance was finally broken after 83 minutes when a Hanna Glas cross ball was met the head of Caroline Seger who powered the ball beyond Gemma Fay to seal the win.
Anna Signeul said: “It was a shame we couldn’t hold on for the whole game but the players did themselves proud with their efforts.
“We knew we were going to have to defend for long periods as we’ve had problems against Sweden previously.
“We stood up physically and although we didn’t have much attacking pressure, the players put their bodies on the line to prevent the ball hitting the back of the net.
“It was a great team effort and it gives us a lot of hope going into the Euros that we can hold our own against the top teams.
“We’ve still got plenty to improve on but we can be proud of how we performed.”
Scotland’s final match before their Euro 2017 opener against England is on Friday, 7 July against Republic of Ireland, at Stark’s Park, kick-off 7pm.
Scotland | Fay (Captain), Frankie Brown, Murray (Howard, 60), Barsley, Lauder, Corsie (Love, 45), Evans, Crichton, Weir, Fiona Brown (Arthur, 82), J Ross
Unused substitutes: Lynn, Alexander, McLauchlan, Dieke, L Ross, Murray, Cuthbert, Clelland, Smith