Between my vacation in Japan and having taking some time to redesign this website we are long overdue for a post with some sports photography. In the past week I’ve photographed the Swedish national team twice. Once with the men’s team and once with the women’s team.
Last week it was a World Cup qualification match against the meager Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands with it’s population of under 50,000 is one of the punching bag teams of the European qualifying groups. Filled with part time players, you never know what you will find. A defender might also work as a lawyer. A striker doubles as an carpenter. They are the typical team (along with San Marino) that gets obliterated 9-0 by Germany in the run up to any Euro or World Cup.
Sweden went into the game needing a victory. A week earlier that had played away to Austria and made a jeopardized their qualification by losing. Therefore victory was the only acceptable result. With that in mind, meeting the Faroe Islands was a welcomed relief and the final result of 2-0 sent everyone home happy.
And still it must be said that that it was hardly convincing. A goal from Ibrahimovic in the first half gave them the lead. Then try and try as they many, Sweden seemed unable to score another. Luck was not with striker Ola Toivonen (pictured above) who proved to be incredibly wasteful that evening.
Often you can’t help but feel that without Ibrahimovic there is no plan B. Back when Ibrahimovic was playing in Italy at Inter, people would make fun of coach Roberto Mancini and his tactics:
“Give the ball to Ibrahimovic and hope that god is on your side,” was the taunt of those that felt Mancini only had one attacking schematic. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if they studied from the book of Mancini. In the end it could be none other than Ibrahimovic who secured the result. Slotting home a penalty in the second half and celebrating with an ferocious scream.
For us at Pic-Agency the evening was quite successful. Since the opening of Friends Arena we have been doubling down with photographers at national team matches. For this game we were four photographers, three of us on the pitch and one in the stands. Lady luck proved to be on our side as we walked away with the covers of the sports sections on both of Sweden’s leading newspapers. My screaming Ibrahimovic being one of the images used.
Warm up to the women’s Euro
Last night I was off photographing a friendly between Sweden and Brazil in women’s football. The European championship is being hosted in Sweden this summer and is about to get underway.
I don’t know much about the women’s team, but I walked away thoroughly impressed with them. While the match ended 1-1 they were in complete control for the vast majority. I really would not be surprised to see them again when the final is played at Friends Arena on the 28th of July.
Yesterday there were a surprisingly high number of photographers present for what was only a friendly game. We at Pic-Agency had 3 photographers present. I did the first half of the match with Sweden attacking towards me. I then remained put for the second half with Brazil coming my way. In the second half I was the only photographer who remained on that short side. Everyone else moved to the other side in order to have Sweden coming towards them. A logical choice considering how well they were playing.
By staying put I got this nice sequence of shots of Brazil’s Marta nearly scoring what could have been a game winning goal. She had just been substituted on at the start of the second half and this was one of first contributions to the match.
These images and more are available through Pic-Agency. Going to have some interesting posts in the next couple of weeks. Stockholm’s Djurgården and Hammarby are preparing to leave their old grounds and move into the new Tele2 Arena. Should be big parties in the farewell matches so stay tuned.