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Thursday, 13 June, 2002, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Andersson returning home
Swedish players celebrate their progress into the second round
Swedish players celebrate reaching the last 16
Swedish captain Patrik Andersson has admitted defeat in his battle to overcome a groin injury and is preparing to fly home from the World Cup.

The Barcelona defender has played no part in the tournament after hurting himself during practice the day before Sweden's opener against England on 2 June.

He said on Thursday: "There's no chance that I can play in this World Cup.

"Of course I'm disappointed. I've had a tough time all spring long, but that's life.

"The most important thing is that I'm healthy for the new Spanish league season."

Andersson said he would be flying back to Spain on Friday.

Tommy Soderberg, one of Sweden's two coaches, said, "It's very sad. He's our team captain."

Open Quote
If everything comes together, we can be a really good side
Close Quote
Johan Mjallby

Meanwhile, central defender Johan Mjallby believes his team can match their compatriots' third-place finish at the 1994 World Cup.

Sweden successfully negotiated the "Group of Death" along with England at the expense of highly-fancied Argentina and Nigeria.

And now they face Senegal in the last 16 of the tournament.

Mjallby said: "I can understand that some people are disappointed at what happened in this group, but we showed that we wanted to go through and we also want to go further.

"Senegal will be difficult. We have played sides like that before and we know it is going to be very hard for us.

"But the good thing is that I don't think we are going to be under the same kind of pressure again, as we were against Argentina.

"If everything comes together, we can be a really good side. I remember the team that went to America.

"To emulate them would be great and that is obviously what we are hoping for, but it was a fantastic thing that they achieved.

"We have a great attitude in this team. A lot of good guys who don't want to be second to anyone. They really want to win things."


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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