Team GB women warm up with Sweden draw

Britain's women's football team geared up for the Olympics with a 0-0 draw in an open match against Sweden at the Riverside Stadium.


Hope Powell’s side worked hard to break down an experienced Sweden side in a game missing a competitive edge at Middlesbrough’s Riverside ground, but finished 0-0.

But defence was on top, with central defender Ife Dieke standing out, as both sides struggled to find the net as part of their preparations for the Olympic Games.

Steph Houghton had the first sight of goal on ten minutes, but her strongly driven free-kick was well dealt with by Hedvig Lindahl.

Ellen White nearly capitlaised on poor Swedish defending on 15 minutes, but curled her snap shot wide after Eniola Aluko’s pace caused trouble.

Caroline Seger should have put the visitors ahead, but scuffed her shot from just out eight yards out after great work from Sofia Jakobsson.

Houghton was finding her range on 28 minutes, but narrowly shot over with a well-struck 30-yard drive, while a few minutes later Kelly Smith tried to chip Lindahl from 40 yards.

Great Britain had a lot of the ball, with Scotland and Arsenal midfielder Kim Little trying to make the most of the possession and Aluko looking dangerous.

Karen Bardsley made her first save five minutes before half-time, blocking smartly after Kosovare Asllani’s fantastic run and shot.

Jakobsson forced Bardsley into another good save minutes later, when she finally beat the offside trap, but fired straight at the Team GB keeper.

Smith thought she had made the prefect return to fitness when she had the ball in the net from Little’s pass, but was flagged offside.

Great Britain coach Powell decided to introduce Fara Williams and Rachel Yankey into proceedings as Team GB stepped up the search or a goal.

Sweden nearly took advantage of a defensive mix-up between substitute keeper Rachel Brown and skipper Casey Stoney on 51 minutes, but Dieke was on hand to clear.

The dangerous Jakobsson was involved again on 54 minutes, but could only shoot wide from 12 yards out when closed down by Brown.

With lots of changes being made by both teams, the game struggled to hit a high tempo, meaning Great Britain were unable to create chances.

But the game sprung into life on 70 minutes when Arsenal’s Yankey smacked her shot against the post after linking up with fellow sub Karen Carney.

The Birmingham City player was looking to impress after not starting and nearly caught Lindahl off her line on 79 minutes with a delightful that strike that just flew over.

Tyresö FF player Seger missed a gilt-edged chance seven minutes on the end, when her stabbed effort lopped up and over Brown’s goal, despite being six yards out.

Both sides worked hard to get the fitness levels up, and Great Britain will head into the Olympics curtain-raiser in Cardiff with confidence to face New Zealand.

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