Swedes' 11-year drought

IF SCOTTISH football is down on itself, imagine the desperation in Sweden to see Malmo hang on to the advantage they carved out for themselves at Ibrox last week.

It is over a decade since a team from their domestic league qualified for the Champions League. Victory over Rangers would take Malmo one step closer.

"It would be very big for Swedish football," said 20-year-old midfielder Ivo Pekalski, who hadn't even reached adolescence the last time Champions League football came to his homeland when Helsingborgs finished bottom of their group in 2000. "To show we have progressed will mean a lot. But it is still a long way off and we have to keep fighting."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We have struggled for many, many years so it would be fantastic for Swedish football but we have a long way to go," agreed captain and national hero, Daniel Andersson, a man who has experienced European football before and knows how much it would mean to the country. An old head, he knows that nothing is signed and sealed yet.

"No, not at all, we know it is going to be difficult. We have to do even harder work I think, it's going to be a very tough game for us but we are very satisfied with the result and hope we can do the same performance on Wednesday.

"We haven't been playing so well in the league. We have a lot of injuries, now we are getting some players back and are starting to build again. Hopefully, this game will help us to get the momentum back."

Pakalski added: "We said before the game that if we could score a goal it would be very important and this is a good result.

"I think 1-0 was good. We could have scored to make 2-0 but coming here and going home with 1-0, I think we should be satisfied."

• Get the latest football news on Facebook and Twitter