Sweden's coach feels "empty" after World Cup semifinal defeat

2019-07-04 04:21:58 GMT2019-07-04 12:21:58(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LYON, France, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Swedish national women's football team head coach Peter Gerhardsson admitted he had a feeling of emptiness after his side's 1-0 extra-time semifinal defeat to the Netherlands at the FIFA Women's World Cup here on Wednesday.

The Dutch side reached their first ever final at the quadrennial tournament through Jackie Groenen's 99th-minute long-range effort.

"The feeling of emptiness. You are not angry, sad or disappointed, of course not happy. Empty, that's what I feel like right now," Gerhardsson told a press conference.

The coach added, "Football is very much about being efficient. In the final third, you will not get a lot of chances against an opponent in the semifinals. I'm convinced that everybody tried to do her best to score a goal."

"It's always about skill, and never about being unlucky or lucky. The Netherlands' goal came from a long shot that was clinically executed. We were not able to convert our attempts into a goal. The players did their best, but it was not sufficient."

Sweden will face England, who lost to the United States in the other semifinal, in the third place playoff match in Nice on Saturday.

"It's about the medal. Ending up third of course feels a lot better than ending up fourth. We'll do everything in our power to try to do that.

"We'll have to take a step back, have a look and come up with a game plan. It's tough right now, but once on the pitch, it's quite nice for most players to play another match and perform excellently and leave with a bronze," said Gerhardsson.

The Netherlands will challenge defending champions the U.S. in Sunday's final. Sweden lost 2-0 to the U.S. in the tournament's group stage.

"Both teams play with three forwards. The U.S. had a few injuries among their forwards, as did the Netherlands. These players are incredibly important and can decide the match. Before the final, it will be a struggle to get these players in shape, and whoever succeeds in that will succeed in the game," Gerhardsson noted.