England lose 4-1 to hosts Sweden in their final warm-up game ahead of Euro 2013
Sweden 4-1 England
A Women's International
6pm BST, Thursday 4 July 2013
By Glenn Lavery in Uddevalla
England were beaten 4-1 by Euro 2013 hosts Sweden in their final warm-up game before the tournament begins next week.
Ellen White put Hope Powell's side ahead early on, but Sweden hit back emphatically.
Antonia Goransson equalised on 29 minutes and Lotta Schelin nudged her side ahead shortly after.
Caroline Seger coolly made it 3-1 not long after the restart – and Schelin completed her brace, and the win, on 68 minutes.
After going unbeaten for over a year and recording a commendable 1-1 draw with World Cup holders Japan last week, this defeat will hurt England, but may act as a catalyst for their Euro campaign.
They have eight days to regroup before things get underway against Spain.
Sweden started brightly and forced England onto the back foot straight from kick-off.
Pia Sundhage's side broke into their visitors' box on three occasions within the opening five minutes, and Kosovare Asllani will be disappointed she did not at least find the target when well placed.
But England rode the early pressure, slowly grew into the game and took the lead nine minutes later.
After some neat work from Alex Scott down the right, Fara Williams played White into the box and the striker kept her cool to clip the ball beyond Kristin Hammarstrom and into the far corner.
Both sides were generally accurate with their distribution of the ball in the first half, but a misplaced pass by Williams allowed Asllani another sight at goal and the striker fired narrowly wide from 20 yards.
At the other end of the pitch White was also looking bright as she drove a Jill Scott lay-off over the bar.
A bumper crowd in Skarsjovallen were being treated to an entertaining encounter. The excitement increased when Goransson levelled matters just before the half-hour mark.
She picked up Marie Hammarstrom's exquisite through ball, powered into the box and shot past Karen Bardsley before Alex Scott could get a block in.
With the momentum behind them, Sweden went ahead four minutes later as Lyon star Schelin poked home Caroline Seger's far post cross from the right following Asllani's flick on, though she was aided by an unfortunate deflection off Casey Stoney.
Sara Thunebro then stung Bardsley's hands with an audacious drive from 35 yards, as did Marie Hammarstrom from just outside the area.
England might have been relieved to hear the half-time whistle to give them a chance to reorganise and Hope Powell made five changes at the break as Bardsley, Stoney, Steph Houghton, Rachel Yankey and White were replaced by Rachel Brown-Finnis, Laura Bassett, Dunia Susi, Karen Carney and Toni Duggan.
But the changes did not have the desired effect, as Sweden extended their lead early in the second half through Seger.
The experienced skipper collected Schelin's pass, held off Sophie Bradley and found the corner of the net.
It could have got worse for England, but for Brown-Finnis saving well from Schelin and then from substitute Lisa Dahlkvist. The Everton 'keeper was also required to keep out Rohlin's header soon after.
The Three Lions kept battling and fashioned a good chance down the right just after the hour. Carney whipped a low ball into the near post; Eniola Aluko and Jill Scott both attempted to reach the cross, but Nilla Fischer did well to deflect it behind.
For all of Sweden's good play, it was a long ball over the top that effectively wrapped up the victory.
Fischer found Schelin running through the centre and the 28-year-old reached the ball ahead of Brown-Finnis. The shot came back off the post, Bradley was unable to get the ball out from under her feet and Schelin tapped home from close range.
The visitors refused to lie down, though, and substitute Jordan Nobbs called Kristin Hammarstrom into action with a low curling effort.
Sweden could have made it 5-1, only for Dahlkvist to head against the bar and Brown-Finnis to deny Jakobsson late on.
England will be disappointed with the defeat in Uddevalla, but they know the real business starts next week against Spain.
See how the teams lined-up by clicking here.