Victoria, BC, Canada – European champions Sweden beat table-topping Scotland by 6-5 in Friday's Page 1-v 2 Play-off at the Ford World Men's Curling Championship in Victoria, Canada, to go straight to Sunday afternoon's final.
This was a tight game all the way with Sweden making the early breakthrough when they scored two points in the second end for a 2-1 lead. In the fifth end, Swedish skip Niklas Edin drew with his last stone to score one and move onto a 3-2 lead.
Scotland then levelled the game in the sixth end when Murdoch drew for one point, but, in a see-saw game, Edin then scored two points with a draw-shot in the seventh end to re-establish a lead, at 5-3.
Murdoch then played a delicate tap-up in the eighth end for one point to reduce the Swedish lead to 5-4, then, in the ninth, Edin missed a take-out attempt, handing the Scots a steal of one point to level the game at 5-5.
In the tenth end, Edin was facing three Scottish counters as he played his last stone, but he drew nicely for the one point that gave Sweden a 6-5 win and the direct berth in the final. The Scots now go onto the sole semi-final game.
Afterwards, a pleased Edin said: "It feels amazing. We were feeling really good before the Worlds last year then I got injured and we felt we didn't really get to perform as well as we have been for the last couple of years. So this year, going in, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves."
About the game itself, he added: "We played fantastic and my team made my job really easy. We pretty much controlled the game. It was close on the scoreboard, but we really felt that we controlled this game, it feels amazing and to go straight to the final having secured a medal already, that's just great."
Meanwhile a disappointed Scottish skip, David Murdoch, said: "That was obviously disappointing, not to get through to the final at the first opportunity. I thought we were playing pretty well. There were a couple of key shots we just didn't quite make tonight and we didn't put more pressure on to make big shots and score. We're just going to have to bin that and come out tomorrow and bring our 'A' game. That wasn't quite our 'A' game tonight and if you don't do that, you're not going to beat the top teams that are left here. We never really got that real good set-up where we were on the front foot and then they chased us. We've got lots to play for, it's all or nothing now, so we're just going to have to wait to see who we'll play tomorrow."
Canada and Denmark face each other next in the Page 3-4 Play-off game, with the winner going onto the semi-final against Scotland, and the loser playing the semi-final loser for bronze medals.
With the Ford World Men's Championship now nearing its climax, the official declaration of the nations qualified directly for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be made by the World Curling Federation (WCF) following the final on Sunday. Seven nations plus hosts, Russia, will secure a spot following the conclusion of the 2013 World Championships.
Nations not qualifying directly for the 2014 Games will be eligible to take part in a new WCF Olympic Qualifying Event to be staged between 11-15 December 2013, at a location yet to be announced. Two nations will qualify from the event in both men’s and women’s disciplines to complete the Olympic fields of 10 teams. National Olympic Committees are required to endorse team entry for this event by the end of May 2013. On confirmation of the number of competing teams, the competition format will be made public by the WCF at the start of June 2013.