Risks leaving the A division
Published 2023-12-05 20.53
MALAGA. Sweden lost 3–1 to 3–5 away to Spain.
Now Sweden risks leaving the A-division.
– I am frustrated, angry, empty and sad, says Magdalena Eriksson.
Caroline Seger had to sit on the bench in what could have been her 241st and last international match.
There, the midfield veteran had to watch Sweden stand for a real collapse against Spain and now the road to European Championship 2025 risks becoming much more difficult.
Sweden must now qualify to remain in the A division of the Nations League.
– In February we will leave. There is nothing else but for us to stay in the A group, that’s all. But we have to evaluate this. We are not satisfied with this autumn and it is not good for being Sweden, says Eriksson.
Swedish dream start
Sweden otherwise had a dream start in Malaga.
After several fine goals, Sweden led 3–1 at the break and at the beginning of the second half, Stina Blackstenius was a goal away from extending the lead.
But instead the collapse began.
full screen Sweden collapsed against Spain. Photo: Ludvig Thunman / Bildbyrån
Spain cut back soon after and Sweden started to put more and more on defense at the same time as Spain pressed forward – and in the 78th minute came the equaliser. The ball steamed down in front of Mariona Caldentey in the penalty area whereupon she thumped in 3-3 in the cross.
Three minutes later, Fiamma Benitez ran through Sweden’s defense and free with Jennifer Falk she made it 4-3.
Mariona Caldentey settled the final score 5–3 in the closing minutes.
– It is beneath all criticism to concede four goals in one half. That shouldn’t happen, especially since we are Sweden and have as our identity that we have a good defensive game, says Kosovare Asllani.
At the same time, Italy won against Switzerland, which means that Sweden is third in the group behind Italy. Thus, Sweden is forced into a playoff in February to keep up. Going down to the B division means a significantly more complicated path to European Championship 2025.
– We have ourselves to blame. We have put ourselves in this position and now we have to qualify, says Asllani.
The playoff games are drawn on Monday. Then it will be decided which team from the B-division Sweden will play against in a double meeting in February.
full screenSweden risks leaving the A division. Photo: Ludvig Thunman / Bildbyrån
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