CAPE TOWN – When last the national women's teams of South and Sweden clashed, the latter ran out winners at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
This week the countries will meet twice as both countries prepare in earnest for the season. The first match will be on Thursday behind closed doors and then on Sunday at the Cape Town Stadium (start 2pm).
Sweden captain Caroline Seger recalled their 2016 Rio Olympics at a media conference in Cape Town.
“I hope it’s going to be a good game. We played South Africa at the 2016 Rio Olympics, our first game – and I remember it was a very tough game. It was not until the final minutes that we scored, and thank you for helping us to reach the final.
"Just being in South Africa has been a dream for me, so I am happy to be here. Hopefully, a lot of people will come and see a good game. Thanks to everyone for making this happen.”
Sweden head coach Peter Gerhardsson added. “I am very proud to be here in South Africa, a country with a great history and a man that is known the world over, Nelson Mandela.
"We hope that we will have an opportunity to educate the team about the history of South Africa. I am also proud to meet the best women’s team in Africa.”
“We are in preparations for the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup. We have three wins, even though we played only two matches. One match we did not play because the opponents didn’t show up, Denmark – those are not the kind of victories we want, we rather play football.
"It’s going to be fantastic to play in this wonderful venue, I hope the fans will come in numbers. Based on the media turnout, there is a huge interest in this game. I now understand this is a big game, not only for us but also for South Africa.”
Ranked 10th in the world and fifth in Europe, Sweden won the European Competition for Women’s in 1984 and won silver in the World Cup in 2003. The team has participated in six Olympic Games, seven World Cup tournaments as well as nine European Championships.
Goalkeepers: Hilda Carlen, Emma Holmgren, Zecira Musovic. Defenders: Jonna Andersson, Emma Berglund, Nathalie Bjorn, Mia Carlsson, Magdalene Ericksson, Hanna Glas, Linda Sembrant. Midfielders/Forwards: Kosovare Asllani, Stina Blackstenuis, Amanda Edgren, Hanna Folkesson, Lina Hurtig, Sofia Jakobsson, Loreta Kullashi, Mimmi Larsson, Julia Roddar, Elin Rubensson, Olivia Schough, Caroline Seger (captain).