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Scotland 0-2 Sweden: Scots edged out by Olympic silver medallists

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland a tthe SMISA Stadium
Scotland v Sweden
Substitute Fridolina Rolfo's goal with 18 minutes left broke the Scots' stout resistence

Scotland suffered a first defeat under head coach Pedro Martinez Losa after a narrow reverse against Olympic silver medallists Sweden in Paisley.

Sweden - now unbeaten in 22 games in 90 minutes - grabbed second-half goals from substitute Fridolina Rolfo and a Sophie Howard own goal.

Scotland mostly defended effectively in blustery conditions, while struggling to fashion clear chances.

It is the first defeat in four games under Martinez Losa.

Sweden - despite making 10 changes - represented a significant step up in quality compared to Hungary and the Faroe Islands, Scotland's defeated opponents to date under their new Spanish head coach in World Cup qualifying.

As Scotland tried to build out from the back, the visitors pressed them smartly to force mistakes, and twice went close before the break.

Anna Anvegard hooked a shot onto the bar from a tight angle after Rachel Corsie's sclaffed clearance, and Erin Cuthbert somehow cleared a shot from point-blank range off the line after a slack pass out of defence.

Martinez Losa made five alterations to the side as he sought to examine different options early in his tenure and, while they were relatively comfortable in defence, they struggled to make their mark in Sweden's box.

Caroline Weir's tame long-range strike and Cuthbert's free kick on target were as close as they came, despite coming close to some clearer openings before failing to find the final shot or pass at the crucial moment.

A draw would have been a creditable result, but as Sweden brought more of their first-choice players off the bench they made the breakthrough.

Rolfo's winner was impressive, as she smashed the ball across Jenna Fife from the edge of the box with too much power for the keeper to prevent it from creeping into the top corner.

And another substitute Sofia Jakobssen also provided a decisive contribution as she drove down the left and whipped in an awkward cross, which Howard could only turn into her own net.

Player of the match - Lucy Graham

Lucy Graham
Graham was one of the five changes from the Hungary game and worked hard at the base of midfield while being tidy in possession

What did we learn?

Scotland are aiming to transition to a more possession-based game, which was evident again as they continually went short from goal kicks and looked to build from the back.

The conditions made life difficult, and in the first half with the wind against them Scotland were often forced into mistakes by Sweden's clever pressure.

When they did manage to move the ball through the thirds, the home side looked tidy enough without threatening regularly, and the speed of passing is something Martinez Losa will look to work on in order to unsettle better opposition.

What they said

Scotland head coach Pedro Martinez Losa: "I think this was our best match. The performance was outstanding against one of the best teams in the world. We matched them in many areas of the game.

"The players executed the tactical game plan to perfection but in friendly games when you make substitutions, and they put on their best players at the end that's part of the game."

Scotland midfielder Caroline Weir: "We gave them a good challenge. There were loads of positives to take. We did well in parts, it was difficult at times we were under a lot of pressure.

"But we knew we had to soak that up. Overall we're happy with bits of the performance and there are bits to grow on."

What's next?

Scotland resume their World Cup qualifying campaign next month in a crucial double header starting with Ukraine at Hampden on 26 November (19:35 GMT), followed by a trip to Seville four days later to face group leaders Spain.

Line-ups

Scotland

Formation 4-3-3

  • 12Fife
  • 8Boyle
  • 4CorsieSubstituted forClarkat 76'minutes
  • 5BeattieSubstituted forHowardat 45'minutes
  • 14ArthurSubstituted forRobertsonat 61'minutes
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 10Graham
  • 9WeirSubstituted forNessat 77'minutes
  • 11Evans
  • 7GrimshawSubstituted forRossat 76'minutes
  • 18EmslieSubstituted forHansonat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McLauchlan
  • 3Docherty
  • 6Robertson
  • 13Ross
  • 15Howard
  • 16Clark
  • 17Hanson
  • 20Davidson
  • 21Cumings
  • 23Ness
  • 24Muir
  • 25Eddie

Sweden

Formation 3-4-3

  • 12Falk
  • 5FischerSubstituted forErikssonat 58'minutes
  • 17Berglund
  • 3Kullberg
  • 23Rubensson
  • 16AngeldalSubstituted forBennisonat 70'minutes
  • 25Curmark
  • 22SchoughSubstituted forRolföat 70'minutes
  • 24BlomqvistSubstituted forHurtigat 88'minutes
  • 19AnvegardSubstituted forJakobssonat 70'minutes
  • 7JanogySubstituted forRytting Kanerydat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Lindahl
  • 2Andersson
  • 4Glas
  • 6Eriksson
  • 8Hurtig
  • 9Rytting Kaneryd
  • 10Jakobsson
  • 13Ilestedt
  • 14Bjorn
  • 15Zigiotti Olme
  • 18Rolfö
  • 20Bennison
Referee:
Abigail Byrne

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamSweden
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home6
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home4
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Scotland 0, Sweden 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Scotland 0, Sweden 2.

  3. Post update

    Filippa Curmark (Sweden) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Kirsty Hanson (Scotland).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Lucy Graham.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Fridolina Rolfö (Sweden) left footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Johanna Rytting Kaneryd.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Lina Hurtig replaces Rebecka Blomqvist.

  8. Goal!

    Own Goal by Sophie Howard, Scotland. Scotland 0, Sweden 2.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Emma Kullberg (Sweden).

  10. Post update

    Erin Cuthbert (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Jenna Clark.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Jenna Clark.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Erin Cuthbert (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Hanna Bennison (Sweden).

  15. Post update

    Erin Cuthbert (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Filippa Curmark (Sweden).

  17. Post update

    Erin Cuthbert (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Zoe Ness replaces Caroline Weir.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Jenna Clark replaces Rachel Corsie.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Jane Ross replaces Christy Grimshaw.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 26th October 2021

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