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13.10.2014, 12:57
Sweden boost confidence with two wins over Iceland
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NEWS REPORT: The women's national team of Sweden and their coaching duo look with ease on the remaining two months leading up to the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia
 

Sweden boost confidence with two wins over Iceland

The past week’s two test matches between Sweden and Iceland resulted in two clear wins for the Swedish hosts.

Already on Thursday Sweden won the first of the two meetings 31:26 in Malmö, and on Saturday this win was followed by an even clearer 32:24 in Skövde.

While Iceland have not qualified for the EHF EURO this time, Sweden used the matches as the first part of their preparations for the final tournament in Hungary and Croatia in December.

In Thursday’s match the Swedish team was dominant from the start and led 17:11 at half-time.

In the second half, the Swedes increased their lead to eight goals at 21:13, before the visitors were allowed to reduce the distance a bit at the end.

An increasing number of missed opportunities from the Swedes led to a series of counter attack goals for Iceland.

Testing many players

Part of the purpose of the matches was for the two Swedish coaches, Helle Thomsen and Thomas Sivertsson, to test a lot of players, several of whom had been sidelined with injuries for a variying amount of time.

And despite some experiments,  Sweden still left no doubt who was the better team.

1824 spectators in the Skövde Arena saw the hosts open the second match by taking a 4:0 lead, and although Iceland reduced to 16:13 at half-time, the hosts continued in the second half, where they had left the court before the break, increasing their lead to 32:24 at the end.

A further encouragement for Sweden was the fact that line player Linn Blohm, who returned to the national team after a one-year break due to a torn cruciate ligament, became most scoring player in the second match with eight goals.

Positive coaches

The Swedish national coaches were content with what they had seen in the one week training camp and in the two test matches.

"I think we played some fine handball most of the time, but we also lost our concentration at times and conceded a bit too many goals," Helle Thomsen told the Swedish Handball Federation’s website.

"We have been together for a week, have played two internationals, won them clearly and used a lot of players.

"I think that things look good, and it will be interesting to see against Brazil, where we will get really fine resistance," added Helle Thomsen, referring to Sweden’s last two preparation matches ahead of the EHF EURO.

Those will be against World champions Brazil in Gothenburg on 2 December and in Helsingborg two days later.

At the EHF EURO 2014, Sweden are going to play their preliminary group matches in Varazdin, Croatia, where the opponents will be the Croatian hosts as well as Germany and the Netherlands.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
 
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