Sweden booed off after Finland draw

In their second to last match before heading off to the World Cup Finals in Germany, a largely second-string Swedish team only managed to draw 0-0 with Finland at the Ullevi stadium on Thursday.

But despite being booed off the pitch by a public disappointed not to have seen the likes of Fredrik Ljungberg, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson, coach Lars Lagerbäck was satisfied with the performance.

“I understand the public’s reaction,” he said.

“But I want to pay tribute to Finland. They played extremely well in defence and shut down the options for us.”

Many among the Swedish starting eleven were playing for a place in the team which opens its World Cup campaign against Trinidad and Tobago on June 10th.

But Lagerbäck was left with more questions than answers after the game. An experiment with Niclas Alexandersson at right back produced an uncertain display, while Mikael Nilsson was ineffective as a winger.

“We can’t be satisfied with the way we played in the first half,” said Nilsson after the game, admitting that he felt more comfortable as a defender.

The pair swapped at half time but that did not appear to be the solution either.

Only Kim Källström in midfield showed any initiative, with one 45 metre pass slicing open the Finnish defence, only for Johan Elmander to miss the best opportunity of the game.

Captain Olof Mellberg was solid at the back but it was the lack of spark pushing forward from midfield that will have left Lagerbäck pondering his options.

Sweden’s final warm-up game is against Chile in Stockholm on June 2nd.