Men’s Tie-breaker: SWE-GBR 7-6 (extra end)
Sweden’s Niklas Edin has now given himself the chance to add an Olympic medal to his European title, thanks to his 7-6 extra end tie-break win over Great Britain on Wednesday.
Britain and Sweden ended the round-robin on the same won five, lost four record to set up the tie-breaker for the last semi-final slot, and this result confirms the Swedes in fourth place and puts them into a semi-final show-down with unbeaten Canada, while Norway and Switzerland battle out the other semi-final.
Sweden had last stone in the first end and used it to score two when British lead Euan Byers missed early in the game.
Britain responded with a two of their own in the second, but, when British skip David Murdoch also had a complete miss, Sweden moved into a 2-1 lead, which they then built on with a single steal in the fifth for a half-time 5-2 lead.
Britain battled back in the second half of the game, scoring a single and then carving out single steals in the sixth and seventh ends to tie the game up at 5-5.
Sweden then nosed ahead again with a single in the eighth. The British team deliberately blanked the ninth end to retain last stone advantage in the tenth, but could only score one point to tie up the game, rather than the two they wanted for victory.
In the extra end, Britain could not get enough going, and Sweden eventually hit and stayed for one and victory.
After the game, a bitterly disappointed Murdoch spoke about his experiences. “It’s heart-breaking. That’s the worst thing possible as far as this team’s concerned”.
“We just put ourselves in the position that every game mattered. In the game against Switzerland, our shot curls another inch and we’re in the semi-final. From that point on, we were pretty much backs to the wall”.
Meanwhile, a delighted Niklas Edin said, “it’s the biggest thing we’ve done as a team, the biggest thing we’ve experienced”.
He looked forward to his semi-final against Canada, saying “it’s going to be tough for us, we need a good star and some breaks. Maybe then we’ll have a chance to beat them”.
The men’s semi-finals take place at 14:00 local time on Thursday 25th February.
The women’s semi-finals take place at 09:00 local time Thursday.