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

1 month ago 26
Scotland v SwedenSubstitute 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.

Reaction & as it happened

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 GrahamGraham 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'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

12Fife8Boyle4CorsieSubstituted forClarkat 76'minutes5BeattieSubstituted forHowardat 45'minutes14ArthurSubstituted forRobertsonat 61'minutes22Cuthbert10Graham9WeirSubstituted forNessat 77'minutes11Evans7GrimshawSubstituted forRossat 76'minutes18EmslieSubstituted forHansonat 63'minutes

Substitutes

2McLauchlan3Docherty6Robertson13Ross15Howard16Clark17Hanson20Davidson21Cumings23Ness24Muir25Eddie

Sweden

Formation 3-4-3

12Falk5FischerSubstituted forErikssonat 58'minutes17Berglund3Kullberg23Rubensson16AngeldalSubstituted forBennisonat 70'minutes25Curmark22SchoughSubstituted forRolföat 70'minutes24BlomqvistSubstituted forHurtigat 88'minutes19AnvegardSubstituted forJakobssonat 70'minutes7JanogySubstituted forRytting Kanerydat 45'minutes

Substitutes

1Lindahl2Andersson4Glas6Eriksson8Hurtig9Rytting Kaneryd10Jakobsson13Ilestedt14Bjorn15Zigiotti Olme18Rolfö20Bennison

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 0, Sweden 2.

Second Half ends, Scotland 0, Sweden 2.

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

Foul by Kirsty Hanson (Scotland).

Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Lucy Graham.

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.

Substitution, Sweden. Lina Hurtig replaces Rebecka Blomqvist.

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

Foul by Emma Kullberg (Sweden).

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

Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Jenna Clark.

Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Jenna Clark.

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

Foul by Hanna Bennison (Sweden).

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

Foul by Filippa Curmark (Sweden).

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

Substitution, Scotland. Zoe Ness replaces Caroline Weir.

Substitution, Scotland. Jenna Clark replaces Rachel Corsie.

Substitution, Scotland. Jane Ross replaces Christy Grimshaw.

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