Sweden had their final test before heading of to the 2016 Euro championship in France. They meet Wales in an afternoon friendly at Friends Arena here in Stockholm. There have been whispers in Sweden that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be leaving the national team after this European championship. Going into this match and stepping into Friends Arena I couldn’t help but be a little sad thinking of that prospect. Since Friends Arena was inaugurated I have covered more or less all of the national team matches at the venue and had the distinct pleasure of watching Zlatan make the stadium his.
The match was nothing special, the standard fare where two teams meet ahead of an international tournament. No one wants to push to hard. No one wants to risk getting injured. Zlatan Ibrahimovic started for Sweden while Gareth Bale started from the bench and cameo on in the second.
Sweden easily had the best of Wales. Emil Forsberg fired Sweden into the lead. Mikael Lustig shot it in from a corner to double their lead. And finally fan favorite John Guidetti, who came on as substitute, put away the third goal. Gareth Bale’s introduction into the game failed to help Wales turn the game around.
With this match done we will see the Euro kicking off. Unfortunately yours truly is not making the trip to France this year. Having covered almost all of Sweden’s qualification games I do not expect them to do very well. I think they will be returning home after the group stage or the round directly after. I believe Erik Hamren has shown himself to be too limited a coach, and lacking the ability to turn around complicated games. Hopefully he proves me wrong.