Linderoth keeps Sweden ticking over
Sweden 1-0 Slovenia
Tobias Linderoth scored the only goal as Sweden continued their build-up to UEFA EURO 2008™ with a narrow victory against Slovenia.
The goal was only the second for the midfielder in 74 international appearances and capped a dramatic return to competitive football after six months without action at Galatasaray AS. The 29-year-old looked fresh and seemingly untroubled by his lengthy lay-off but remained cautious afterwards. "It was great to score but we'll have to see tomorrow to see how the body feels," he said.
After a slow and quiet first period where Sweden created a couple of minor chances, half-time substitute Henrik Larsson was the catalyst for his side in the second half. Just seven minutes after coming on, the 36-year-old headed an effort just over then hit the post moments later. "It was great to be back," said the striker. "The tempo is higher than at Helsingborgs [IF], but I feel good and with any luck I could have scored today."
Sweden coach Lars Lagerbäck gave a number of key players a rest with Zlatan Ibrahimović, Fredrik Ljungberg and Kim Källström all not playing, while Sebastian Larsson and Christian Wilhelmsson both were given a chance to shine.
"They did well," said the coach. "Sebastian Larsson is very mature and has learned a lot from playing in the English Premier League. Wilhelmsson is enjoying life at RC Deportivo La Coruña and it shows." Lagerbäck was also very pleased with Henrik Larsson's return. "He's a fantastic player and his experience will help us a lot," added the 59-year-old.
Sweden: Isaksson, Stoor, Mellberg (Granqvist 73), Majstorovic, Nilsson (Dorsin 78), Linderoth (Svensson 46), Sebastian Larsson (Alexandersson 78), Andersson, Wilhelmsson, Bakircioglü (Elmander 46), Allbäck (Henrik Larsson 46).
Slovenia: J. Handanovič, Jokič, Ilič, Cesar, Brečko, Kirm, Suler, Mörec, Sisič (Burgič 71), Stevanovič (Matič 60), Novakovič.