LINUS LINDAHL / AIPS in SHARJAH: Sweden coach Roland Larsson was quick to express his pride in his team after a 2-1 win over Japan took them into the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013.

He said: ” I’m very happy and very proud of my boys and my team who won against a very good team”

“The Japanese have good technical skills, but my team is world class. We had a plan and we followed it.  This game took a lot of energy from my players and the problem is that we have only two days before the next game.

“I knew that the Japanese players focus on the midfield so we tried to fill the spaces and also always to benefit from the few opportunities we created.

“We try to win every game that we can and we prepare for every match.  When you can beat Japan and grab an important draw from Nigeria you can do anything. No one in Sweden expected that we would achieve this result”

Japan’s Hiroshumi Yoshitake hoped his players would learn from the Swedish players “never to give up.”

He said: “Our defence lost two goals from the opponent’s counter attacks and we could not score more goals because their defence was very strong. I hope the players will remember this experience. We will keep continuing to do our best and I hope we can come back again.

“So I do not want to change my style even though we lost. I will continue with my style in the future and make it better.”


* AIPS, the international sports journalists association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA

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