Perhaps it was the Scots that made the difference – while England will be following tradition by playing alone in the World Cup, the Embassy put up an all-British team – with the exception of their Swedish goalkeeper, Fredrik Fehn.
Yet Fehn’s keeping – and the British defence – was porous, with 6 goals conceded by half time. The Swedish defence was little better, with Britain having scored 5.
“Both teams have proven to be prolific goal-conceders,” admitted British ambassador Anthony Cary at half time.
“We promised everyone that it would all be quite amateur and we’ve been true to our promise,” he said as he warmed up to return to the pitch on Gärdet, in the east of the capital.
The Swedes managed to retain the lead in the second half, with the goals coming thick and fast. Fifteen minutes after the break, Sweden was leading 7-6.
“We’re playing a strong match, keeping it tight at the back,” explained Sweden’s Niklas Kvarnström.
But the real secret of the Swedish strategy was simple: distraction.
“Every time the ambassador is on the pitch we shout ‘sir’,” Kvarnström admitted.
James Moody, vice consul at the Embassy and one of four Scots on the team, conceded as goal after goal passed the British defence that “it’s going pretty bad”. But, he added, “it would be going even worse without the Scots.”
The final score was 10-7 to Sweden.
“A very important result – we’ll be on the satellite link to give [Sweden manager Lars] Lagerbäck a few tips,” said Swedish captain David Lunderquist as he walked off the pitch.
“The result tonight will be along these lines,” he proclaimed.