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FIFA Women's World Cup

Sweden

Sweden's player gather in a huddle
© AFP

FIFA Women’s World Cup record

France 2019 sees Sweden maintain their perfect appearance record at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™. Their best performance at the seven world finals held to date came at USA 2003, where they lost to a golden goal in the Final against Germany, after the legendary Hannah Ljungberg had given them the lead. Lotta Schelin, her successor in the Blagult attack, fired the Swedes to third place at Germany 2011, a position in which they had also finished at China 1991. Aside from these successes, Sweden also reached the quarter-finals in 1995 and 1999, went out in the group phase in 2007, and progressed to the last 16 at Canada 2015, where they lost 4-1 to the Germans.

The road to France

The Scandinavians secured their ticket to France by winning Group 4 ahead of Denmark, the runners-up at UEFA Women’s EURO 2017. The surprise 1-0 defeat Peter Gerhardsson’s charges suffered in Ukraine could have cost them dearly had they not won both their games against the Danes. In the first they were awarded a 3-0 victory, and in the return fixture, which came on the final day and could have seen Denmark qualify at their expense, Sofia Jakobsson scored the only goal to take Sweden through.

The coach

Following the disappointments of Sweden’s last-16 defeat at Canada 2015 and their quarter-final exit at Women’s EURO 2017, the legendary Pia Sundhage stepped down as coach, to be replaced by Gerhardsson. A former Hammarby striker who represented his country at U-17, U-19 and U-23 level, he moved into coaching in 1993, a year after retiring. Before taking on the national team job, which came after a seven-year tenure at BK Haken, he had coached just one women’s team: Balinge IF in 1997/98. Gerhardsson has also had spells with Sweden’s U-16 and U-17 men’s teams and worked as an assistant at Enkopings and Helsingborgs.

The stat

88 - the number of goals Lotta Schelin scored in her international career, which came to an end when she retired after the qualifiers. Sweden’s main goal threat now is Stina Blackstenius, who struck three times on the road to France 2019.