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Sweden secures Euro 2012 spot

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 12 Oct 2011, 07:52

Published: 12 Oct 2011 07:52 GMT+02:00

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"A fantastic achievement by the lads," national team coach Erik Hamrén told broadcaster TV4 after the game's nail-biting final moments had come to an end.

The Swedes scored first through Lyon midfielder Kim Källström's free kick, a lead the yellow and blues were to hold for a mere eight minutes.

Schalke 04 striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar responded with a headed goal to level the scores and return Sweden to a play off place.

The Netherlands dominated the possession following the goal and when Dirk Kuyt headed in the re-bound from Robin van Persie's penalty, the game appeared to be out of the reach of Sweden, playing without captain and star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

But there was more fight in the Swedish ranks to come and Sunderland winger Sebastian Larsson levelled up the scores at 2-2 from the penalty spot after a handball from Dutch stopper Joris Mathijsen.

Two minutes later, the hard-working Johan Elmander laid on Ola Toivonen who made up for an earlier glaring miss and steered the ball into the net to put Sweden in the lead.

The remainder of the match was a determined rearguard action by Sweden who held off the Dutch hordes which swept forward in attack after attack.

Story continues below…

The Dutch, missing a number of key players for the evening, were unable to break down the Swedish defence however and the game played out without further score ensuring that Sweden will join neighbours Denmark in the finals next summer.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:05 October 12, 2011 by Malmoman
10:45 October 12, 2011 by fedotovskiy
Congratz Sweden!
11:04 October 12, 2011 by andyron2
Fantastic job Sweden!!! Hope they continue the winning form in Euro 2012 as well.
11:35 October 12, 2011 by StockholmSam
Hmmm...we score twice from set plays (free/penalty kicks) due to Dutch mistakes; Holland scores twice with fantastic shots from play; Holland dominates possession despite being without a number of star players; Sweden goes ahead by a goal (off another Dutch misplay) and decides to ride out a Dutch offensive onslaught by sitting back and crowding the defensive zone thus escaping with a win...this is what Sweden calls a "game to remember?" A "game for the ages?"

I disagree. Congratulations Sweden, I am glad to go through, but winning like this will not result in championships.
11:40 October 12, 2011 by paraplydrink
well done!
12:26 October 12, 2011 by Grokh
@StockholmSam thats how netherlands went to the finals of the world cup, kicking ball forward and running while having 11 playings blocking their own goal.

Not to mention they play the dirtiest wrestling karate football seen in decades. Anyone deserves to win over them no matter how they play.

and hopefully in the future netherlands will produce a team that actually plays football and not kickboxing, and only attacks vs weaker teams.
13:29 October 12, 2011 by eppie

I don't think you really understand much of the game of football.

The Netherlands went to the worldcup final with arguably the weakest defenders the dutch team has ever had in their history. Furthermore if there is one team that is known for always wanting to play attacking football it is the Netherlands. (not Spain, they only started doing this the last few years).

The reason why despite their weak defense the dutch came far this world cup was because they finally started thinking a bit the way other countries have always been doing (result is more important than pleasing the crowd.

And they also haven't been extremely lucky with the referee's I must say.

That said; yesterdays game was a deserved win for Sweden. The dutch were not capable of becoming dangerous very often. Just posession is not enough to win a game. A good lesson for them.
07:51 October 13, 2011 by Frank Arbach
Easily the most dynamic performance from a Swedish football team I've seen in years. The most audacious bit was an attempted long range 'chip' over the Dutch goalie, from Sweden's 'Prince Harry lookalike' (wasn't a goal unfortunately for Sweden)

Interesting that Sweden achieved this victory WITHOUT Ibrahimovic
12:11 October 14, 2011 by StockholmSam
@ Frank Arbach

"Interesting that Sweden achieved this victory WITHOUT Ibrahimovic"

If IBRA had been in the game, surely Sweden would have lost by two goals.
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