Sweden World Cup squad forced to evacuate team hotel after false alarm
Sweden's players suffered a rude awakening ahead of their World Cup quarterfinal clash with England when the fire alarm went off at their hotel in Samara on Saturday morning, leading it to be evacuated.
The Swedish players were roused from their slumbers and moved out of their rooms, but luckily it turned out to be a false alarm and they could go back to recharging their batteries ahead of their first World Cup quarterfinal since 1994.
"It was just after half past eight this morning, a false alarm. All the players are feeling fine," Sweden press officer Staffan Stjernholm told Fotbollskanalen.
Meanwhile, Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist welcomed his newborn baby daughter from afar.
Granqvist, 33, and his wife Sofie each posted photos of Mika although Granqvist used the hashtag #worldcupbaby.
"I just try to enjoy it," he said on Friday with a grin after the early morning birth. "I just try to be present, in the now.
"Good timing. I didn't sleep very well last night, so I'm glad that it's happened now. My wife did a wonderful job back home. Everything went well."
Granqvist's decision to stay with his national squad was in contrast to England midfielder Fabian Delph, who missed Tuesday's dramatic penalty shootout victory over Colombia to return home for the birth of his third child before rejoining his teammates in Russia.
"We're a team, we do this together on and off the pitch, and this has meant that we've been as successful as we have so far," Granqvist said. "We might not have on paper the best team or individually, but together we're very high achievers."
World Cup 2018 must-reads
- Make your daily ESPN FC Match Predictor picks!
- World Cup fixtures, results and coverage
- Why has World Cup been full of surprises?
- Ronaldo, Messi finally have rivals for Ballon d'Or
- England must create more chances against Sweden
So far the recipe has worked in Russia. After finishing at the top of its group, the Swedes beat Switzerland in the knockout round 1-0. If they can get past England, they'll face the winner of Saturday's match between Russia and Croatia.
"I think there was a coach who said about his team once, `They're quite easy to analyse and quite difficult to beat.' I think that's a good description for us," said Sweden's manager Janne Andersson.
England and Sweden have met twice previously in World Cup play, a 2-2 draw in 2006 and a 1-1 draw in 2002. Overall, Sweden has gone undefeated in 13 of the past 15 matches.
Andersson agreed with his captain that Sweden's strength is its unity.
"We're in Day 45 now together. And even I will have a bad day sometimes," he said. "And then you go to your room for a little rest and you come back with new energy and you can contribute to the team," Andersson said. "They've been extraordinary in how they've done it."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.