Soccer-Sweden get record send-off ahead of Women's Euros


STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish soccer fans smashed the attendance record for their women's national team as their side beat Brazil 3-1 on Tuesday in their final friendly before the UEFA Women's Euros get underway in England next week.

Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Lina Hurtig and Stina Blackstenius got the goals as Sweden came from behind to win as 33,218 fans turned out on a sweltering summer evening in the Swedish capital, easily eclipsing the previous record of 25,882 for a game against Germany in 2019.

After a sluggish first half Brazil took the lead through Debinha in the 50th minute, and Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson made three changes just after the hour mark as his side chased the game.

One of the substitutes was Rytting Kaneryd, and the winger quickly repaid his faith with a mazy dribble and shot to equalise in the 65th minute to get the party started.

Hurtig's deft header two minutes later put them into the lead, and Blackstenius crowned a joyous evening by chipping the keeper in the 89th minute.

The crowd gave a huge send-off to the Sweden players, who danced through a lap of honour as "I Love It" by Swedish duo Icona Pop boomed out of the stadium's speakers.

"It was super-wonderful," striker Blackstenius told Reuters. "We wanted to thank them for coming here and sharing this match and this occasion with us. It means a lot to us and we wanted to thank them for it."

Team captain Caroline Seger thanked the fans behind one of the goals with a banner hanging over the advertising hoardings that said "We'll see you at Wembley", where the final of the Women's Euros will be held on July 31.

First Sweden will have to face reigning European champions Netherlands on July 9 before taking on Switzerland and Portugal in their other Group C games.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Toby Davis)

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