A lacklustre performance against Chile at Råsunda ended 1-1, and it was the South Americans who had the best chance of winning the game.
These sorts of games are always cagey affairs, but the Swedish public and media was hoping for a display to buoy confidence before next Saturday’s opener against Trinidad and Tobago.
Instead, Anders Svensson seemed lost in central midfield, Christian Wilhelmsson failed to make an impact on the flank, and the back four played as if they had just been introduced to each other in the dressing room before kick-off.
Nevertheless, there were positives to be taken from the game. The Swedes began with the eleven likely to start in German and, despite a quiet first 15 minutes, Freddie Ljungberg settled in and delivered a series of deep passes until he was substituted at half time.
Henrik Larsson brought a flash of class to the first half, with a 25 metre free kick guided to the right of the Chilean wall in the 32nd minute.
But six minutes into the second half Chile equalised with a move straight through the middle of the field catching the defence napping.
“We were far too passive in defence,” admitted Lars Lagerbäck after the game.
“We let them play their short passing game for too long. Our work rate was good but no player really stood out. Zlatan and Henrik had difficult balls to deal with.”
Sweden play Trinidad and Tobago next Saturday at 6pm. The game will be shown on SVT.