England suffer heavy Euro 2013 warm-up defeat by Sweden

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
England suffer heavy Euro 2013 warm-up defeat by Sweden

England's preparations for the European Championship suffered a blow as they were beaten 4-1 by Sweden in their final warm-up game in Uddevalla.

Hope Powell's side took an early lead through Ellen White, but Sweden led at the break after quick goals from Antonia Goransson and Lotta Schelin.

Caroline Seger and Schelin doubled the tally as England struggled to deal with Sweden's energy in the second half.

The Lionesses begin their Euro 2013 campaign against Spain on 12 July.

The result against Sweden may have been a disappointment, given it was England's first defeat in 11 matches.

But despite a late scare for defender Sophie Bradley, who was stretchered off after jarring her ankle, the contest did give important time to England players who have been working their way back from injury. Bradley had an x-ray on Thursday night and it revealed there was no break.

Skipper Casey Stoney and left-back Steph Houghton played 45 minutes before being withdrawn at half-time and forward Karen Carney, who has been recovering from an ankle problem, was introduced after the break.

Sweden, who are two positions above seventh-placed England in the Fifa rankings, looked the stronger side throughout and put pressure on England high up the pitch, leading to the visitors giving the ball away.

But Powell's side began brightly as White finished when Alex Scott's pass was touched into the striker's path by Fara Williams after 13 minutes.

Once Sweden scored twice in a four-minute spell around the half-hour mark, they gained a measure of control.

Pia Sundhage's side, who begin their tournament against Denmark on 10 July, were more comfortable on the ball and on the basis of this game will pose a threat to European Championship holders Germany.

After making five changes at the break, England became disjointed and the third and fourth Sweden goals were avoidable.

Anita Asante's slip led to Seger's finish, while Schelin beat substitute goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis to a through-ball.

Toni Duggan smacked a late shot against the post as England regained their composure but with Sweden also striking the woodwork, and wasting other chances, the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game.

Powell told the FA website:external-link "You would be worried if you were in the tournament but this was a preparation match for us.

"It gave us an opportunity to make a few changes and give a lot of players some minutes.

"While we are disappointed to have lost - we didn't play this fixture to lose - it gave us an opportunity to try new things. It served that purpose very well so I'm not worried."

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