Sweden football coach Pia Sundhage meets the press in Rio. Photo: Tobias Röstlund/TT
Two-time world champions Germany have an impressive record against Sweden, winning all three previous Olympic meetings between the sides in 2000, 2004 and 2008, as well as a 4-1 thrashing at last year's World Cup.
“They have been winning against us too many times. They have to lose some time, hopefully it is tomorrow,” said a cheerful Sundhage, who ended her press conference Thursday by singing a line from Bob Dylan classic “The Times They Are A Changin'.”
Sundhage led the USA to gold in 2008 and 2012, but insists a third title with her native Sweden will mean more given the limited expectations of a side that only reached the quarter-finals by finishing as one of the two best third-placed sides in the group stages.
“It is one thing for the US to play under such pressure. There were so many people expecting US to win the gold.”
“When we started this road for Olympic qualification in March not many people expected us to be here.”
“Tomorrow will be the very best experience I have had with an Olympic gold medal.”
Germany coach Silvia Neid will take charge of the national team for the final time after 11 years at the Maracana.
“What can be nicer than have your last game playing for the gold medal and playing in this fantastic stadium,” said Neid, who will resume a three-decade long rivalry with Sundhage dating back to their playing careers.
However, she refused to try and out-sing her Swedish counterpart.
“I can't sing. I can dance, but I need Pia to do the music.”