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Swedes see off Serbs in Euros warm up

Swedes see off Serbs in Euros warm up

Published: 06 Jun 2012 08:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Jun 2012 08:33 GMT+02:00

Sweden beat Serbia 2-1 in their final pre-Euro friendly on Wednesday, securing an encouraging victory which nonetheless raised questions about whether the team's defence is up to scratch ahead of Euro 2012.

Sweden started off the scoring in the 23rd minute after Serbia's keeper Branimir Aleksic fumbled the ball on a Swedish corner and Ola Toivonen tapped it through the posts with his heel.

But Serbia equalised just four minutes later, after a tackle by midfielder Anders Svensson gave Serbia a free kick that led to a corner which Neven Subotic headed in between two Swedish defenders.

Serbian keeper Damir Kahriman, who replaced Aleksic at the start of the second half, pulled down Toivonen and earned Sweden a penalty kick in the 52nd minute, which Zlatan Ibrahimovic blasted into the far-left corner to produce Sweden's winning goal.

Sweden's attackers picked up the tempo in the second-half.

But despite the win, the hosts looked shaky and uncertain, nowhere near the smooth-playing and united team seen during training camp, raising the question whether coach Erik Hamren would be able to iron out the wrinkles before the

Euros start.

Also of concern was Sweden's starting goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson, who left the pitch in the 71st minute with a slight groin injury -- both good and bad news as Swedish fans breathed a sigh of relief it wasn't his recurring shoulder problem that has sidelined him in the past.

Sweden has been paired alongside England, France and co-hosts Ukraine in Group D at Euro 2012, which runs from June 8th to July 1st in Poland and Ukraine.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:41 June 6, 2012 by eppie
Friendly's don't say much but this wasn't a very strong display.

If Sweden plays like this next week they will not survive the group stage. I was also suprised about the aggresiveness of the Swedes.....it is a friendly game, come on.
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