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Sweden twice pay penalty
 Women's Football News 10 Jul 2013
 
Sweden twice pay penalty - 10 Jul 2013 - Women's Football NewsSweden 1 (Fischer 35) Denmark 1 (Knudsen 26)
Hosts Sweden were denied victory by two penalty saves from Stina Petersen as the two Scandinavian nations fought out a thrilling 1-1 draw in Gothenburg. 
 
However an impressive Danish side fully deserved a share of the spoils in front of a sell out 16,128 crowd in their Euro 2013 opener after otherwise keeping their highly rated opponents at bay as well as causing problems for the host nation at the other end.
 
The Swedish team had looked visibly nervous at the start of the game but Kosovare Asllani did have an attempt on goal in the opening seconds and Caroline Seger should have done better when firing over after being set up by Asllani.
 
Denmark settled down and began to threaten themselves going forward with Johanna Rasmussen lively on the wing and full back Therese Nielsen looking to get forward at every opportunity.
 
The Danes' enterprise was rewarded on the 26 minute mark when they scored the first goal of the tournament. Mariann Knudsen won the ball from Seger in midfield and powered forward, cutting inside one challenge before planting a shot past a wrong footed Kristin Hammarstrom and into the corner of the net.
 
Superbly marshalled by their experienced captain Katrine Pedersen, once of Fulham, Denmark continued to look strong and well organised but Sweden got back on terms nine minutes later. Sara Thunebro clipped a free kick into the area from the centre circle and Nilla Fischer lost her marker before planting a header inside the far post.
 
Suddenly Sweden came to life and could even have been ahead by the interval but Asllani's header was cleared off the line by Line Roddik and the striker also having a shot held by Petersen.
 
Denmark introduced Nadia Nadim as a half time substitute and the lively striker went close when she stooped to meet a Pernille Harder cross but couldn't get any power in her diving header and Hammarstrom saved.
 
It was another Danish substitute who then had a great chance to put her side in front, Nadim's slide rule pass putting Julie Rydahl Bukh through on goal, she tried to clip the ball over the advancing Hammarstrom who did well to stand up and save, before recovering to make another stop as Rasmussen tried to fire home the loose ball.
 
Sweden immediately went on the counter attack with Asllani initially holding off the attentions of Christina Orntoft before being brought down by the central defender. The challenge appeared to be outside the area but a penalty was awarded, giving star striker Lotta Schelin - who had had a quiet match - the chance to give her side the lead. However Petersen dived to her left to keep out Schelin's kick and Denmark were still on level terms.
 
The pace of a pulsating match increased even further during the later stages with both sides going all out to win. Schelin almost made amends with a superb turn and run into the area but no team mate was on hand to turn home her cross, whilst Rydahl Bukh again went close at the other end.
 
Sweden were given another chance with five minutes remaining, Seger fired a shot which struck the arm of Nielsen and the referee pointed to the spot once more. Neilsen's arm was raised but the decision was perhaps a little on the harsh side, however this time Asllani stepped forward to take the kick but her shot lacked power and Petersen was able to save more comfortably on this occasion.
 
Denmark settled in for the draw from this point and they will be the happier of the two sides with the outcome, although both teams are looking good for qualification on this showing. 
 
Sweden: Kristin Hammarstrom, Charlotte Rohlin, Jessica Samuelsson, Caroline Seger, Nilla Fischer, Sara Thunebro, Josefine Oqvist (sub Sofia Jakobsson 79mins), Lotta Schelin, Kosovare Asllani, Marie Hammarstrom, Antonia Goransson (sub Lisa Dahlkvist 63mins).

Denmark: Stina Petersen, Therese Nielsen, Line Roddik, Christina Orntoft, Katrine Pedersen, Mariann Knudsen, Johanna Rasmussen (sub Line Jensen 89mins), Mia Brogaard, Sofie Pedersen (sub Nadia Nadim 45mins), Pernille Harder, Katrine Veje (sub Julie Rydahl Bukh 62mins).

 
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