Euro 2013

Swedes miss penalties in Denmark draw

Swedes miss penalties in Denmark draw
Sweden were held to a 1-1 draw by neighbouring Denmark in their opening match of the Euro 2013 women's football tournament on Wednesday, missing two penalties in an eventful second half.

“Among other things, someone else is going to take the penalties next time,” coach Pia Sundhage said to broadcaster TV4 after the match.

Sweden began the match strongly pushing Denmark back into defence and creating a couple of chances, but it was Denmark who took the lead through Mariann Gajhede Pedersen in the 26th minute.

Denmark were playing the better football with Sweden unable to find their game, but the equalizer came via Nilla Fischer from a free kick in the 35th minute.

Sweden’s confidence returned and they looked the more dangerous in the final third, creating a couple of chances and at times havoc in the Danish defence.

The second half began in an evenly balanced contest with Denmark keeping the ball well and Sweden looking to hit their neighbours on the break with swift counter attacks.

Kosovar Asllani managed to force the first penalty in the 67th minute after she was pulled down on the edge of the box.

Captain and Lyon star Lotta Schelin stepped up to take responsibility but hit a soft effort too close to goalkeeper Lykke Petersen who was able to box the ball away.

Sweden were given a chance to make amends in the 84th minute following a handball and this time Asllani took charge of the ball.

The striker placed the ball in the top right corner but didn’t get enough on it to test Peterson who easily saved.

“I thought to myself, how hard can it be,” Asllani said after the match.

Sundhage was however harder in her judgement of the two missed penalties.

“Marie Hammerström will take the penalties next time,” she said.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson

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