Soccer-Sweden take chance on Dahlkvist in World Cup squad

Reuters

By Philip O'Connor

STOCKHOLM, May 11 (Reuters) - Sweden head coach Pia Sundhage has taken a chance on injured Lisa Dahlkvist, including the influential midfielder in her squad for the women's World Cup in Canada despite a hip injury.

Describing the selection of the KIF Orebro player as "a gamble," Sundhage is hoping that that Dahlkvist will be fit to face the United States in their second group game.

"We hope that she'll play in a similar way to what she did at the 2011 World Cup (in Germany)," Sundhage told reporters, adding that Dahlkvist had a major influence in both attack and defence as Sweden beat France to secure third place at that tournament.

Several others in Sundhage's squad are suffering from knocks, but the coach is confident that, Dahlkvist aside, they will all be available for the first Group D game against Nigeria in Winnipeg on June 8.

"We believe that some that have small niggles, if we take them in and train them they'll be fit for the fight when the time comes," Sundhage said.

The Swedes have been drawn in one of the toughest groups in the 24-team tournament. After Nigeria, they will take on the U.S., whom Sundhage coached to victory in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals, before meeting Australia.

Ranked fifth in the world, the Swedes have never won the World Cup, losing their only final appearance 2-1 to Germany in 2003, and coming third in 1991 and 2011. (editing by Justin Palmer)

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