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Sweden out of Euros after England victory

AFP/The Local · 16 Jun 2012, 09:08

Published: 16 Jun 2012 09:08 GMT+02:00

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With two defeats in as many matches, Sweden have no chance of going through to the final eight.

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored a well-taken winner for England in the 78th minute after the introduction of substitute Theo Walcott swung a see-saw Group D battle back in his side's favour.

England had got off to a dream start when recalled striker Andy Carroll headed them into a 23rd-minute lead.

But an own goal from Glen Johnson on 49 minutes followed by a header from Olof Mellberg in the 59th minute threatened to set up a disastrous night for Roy Hodgson's side.

However, the substitution of James Milner for Walcott changed the game. The Arsenal winger lashed in a 64th-minute equaliser to make it 2-2 and then provided the run and pass which set up Welbeck's winner.

Hodgson praised the way his side had fought back to win after trailing early in the second half.

"It was a cracking game of football. We were reasonably comfortable at half-time and had a good control of the game before they rocked us on our heels," Hodgson said.

"We knew how dangerous they were from set-pieces and they proved true to that. But it was very good the way the team responded to that.

"It's difficult at this level, we're playing against good teams. Our attacking play showed good intentions and we looked dangerous."

But Sweden counterpart Erik Hamrén was disconsolate after watching his side go out.

"I feel really bad for the players," Hamrén said. "They played a really good match but went out. The operation went well but the patient died. That's how I feel today," he said.

England's first ever competitive victory over the Swedes means they will qualify for the quarter-finals with only a point in their final group game against co-hosts Ukraine in Donetsk next Tuesday.

However, England manager Hodgson will want to see a marked improvement from his side if they are to secure the draw they need after a performance littered with errors and shaky defending.

England had started positively, Scott Parker forcing a fine save out of Andreas Isaksson after only seven minutes with a fine swerving effort from 20 yards that the Swedish keeper parried to safety.

Sweden meanwhile had to wait until 20 minutes before threatening the England goal, captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic letting fly with a long range shot that was blocked comfortably by Joe Hart.

For a while it looked as if England's familiar failings of conceding possession too cheaply and poor delivery would be costly.

After successive crosses from Ashley Young and Milner failed to meet their targets, captain Steven Gerrard had clearly seen enough on 23 minutes.

Seizing possession in midfield the England skipper looked up to curl in a pinpoint long-range diagonal ball which the twisting Carroll met with a thunderous header that gave Isaksson no chance.

England ought to have done better again on 36 minutes when Ashley Cole played in Young with a first-time pass only for the Manchester United man to miscontrol and lash a low shot wide.

Sweden were forced to look for openings on the break and threatened to score when Ibrahimovic dispossessed the careless Johnson and played in Kim Källström whose shot flew over.

England's positive first half display came unstuck, however, within five minutes of the restart as a rejuvenated Sweden dominated play.

Story continues below…

The equaliser came after an Ibrahimovic free-kick bounced back off the wall and was played back to an unmarked Mellberg being played onside by Johnson.

The bearded centre-half's shot beat Hart and Johnson was unable to scramble out of his own net. Mellberg claimed it, but the equaliser was ruled an own-goal by Johnson.

England were rocking and it got worse for Hodgson's men on 59 minutes as Sweden went 2-1 up. Sebastian Larsson swung in a curling free-kick and shambolic defending in the England defence allowed Mellberg to nod home Sweden's second.

Milner, who had capped a poor evening by conceding the free-kick which led to Sweden's second, was then promptly hauled off for Walcott.

The Arsenal winger made an immediate impact and within minutes England were level, Walcott's shot from just outside the area catching Isaksson off-balance to make it 2-2.

Sweden continued to cause England problems on the break and Ibrahimovic forced Hart to dive at full-stretch to turn around a 76th-minute effort.

But two minutes later Walcott rescued England again, darting into the box with an electrifying burst to cross for Welbeck, who flicked in a deft finish with the back of his heel to make it 3-2.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:31 June 16, 2012 by johan rebel
"Sweden ouf Euros"

A national cash crunch?
10:35 June 16, 2012 by byke
I wonder what ICA will do with all their spare flags and blow up hands?
10:48 June 16, 2012 by kirub
Very exciting match. ZI did a terrific job for country Sweden.
10:55 June 16, 2012 by foxxychick1978
I was on my seat most of the match . so gland my native team won though! but england would have no chance at winning sweden in a ice hocky match :D
11:33 June 16, 2012 by theibmsstate
well done england love u england.
12:01 June 16, 2012 by Flutterbye
Oh did we win !!!!!!!!
12:10 June 16, 2012 by Morenikeji
The best written report I have ever read on this site. Although I'm sad that we are out. We deserved to win that match. Our team was far better and our palyers did their best. But such is life.
12:43 June 16, 2012 by Jes
Sweden should have sent Loreen . She does not care too much about her hair like Zlatan does .
12:44 June 16, 2012 by prince T
sweden gave up a gallant fight. in the land of the blind, the one eye man is the king. i think england should be ashamed that sweden almost won against them. england should not celebrate at all.
12:54 June 16, 2012 by theibmsstate
what sweden deserve oh come on, sweden lost match by ukraine, england is tough team. 1st in sweden job or team selection is not on merit, sweden must take player on merit then there will chances to win and they should not eat potatoes and strawberries too much, they need milk can kick ball.nothing is on merit in sweden. i think there will be more good players.i think after 10 years they will win one match.
12:57 June 16, 2012 by NASTYCOW26
lol@england should not celebrate at all,why shouldn't we celebrate?be a different story if sweden would of won,bet you lot would of been celebrating,stop crying swedens going home swedens going home.face it ya rubbish..
13:19 June 16, 2012 by DAVID T
Well Sweden - Don't send your womens netball players to play a mans game !!! BYE BYE
13:28 June 16, 2012 by VoodooDingy
I hear that, after the elimination from the Euro 2012, the rating agency Moody's has already downgraded Sweden's credit rating - from AAA to ABBA...
14:43 June 16, 2012 by theibmsstate
hahahahahah well there is no merit in sweden, all the players comes by favoritism. lorren won euro but she is also not native swede. zltan is also not native swede but both are famous in sweden.in sweden 1st priority swede so they will never ever successful like england, england economy is much stronger,technology and other stuff.English is international language not swedish. england well done we support you.
15:33 June 16, 2012 by rob582
In response to derogatory comments made against the England team in a previous article, I must say that if Sweden had practiced more on shooting at goal than at a bare butt they may have won. Were gonna score one more than you.....ENGLAND!!
15:47 June 16, 2012 by theibmsstate
@rob 682 well said hahahaaha love u england
16:26 June 16, 2012 by BillyB
Sweden played ok...not great but ok...England deserved to win.
18:49 June 16, 2012 by towns
"1st priority swede so they will never ever successful like england, england economy is much stronger,technology and other stuff.English is international language not swedish."

This comment takes the cake as the most nescient and illiterate example of comparative irrelevancy I have come across on this site. Nice job, were you inebriated typing that?
22:14 June 16, 2012 by ghostwriter
yes, "expats" posting derogrative comments about Sweden/swedes, due to penis-problems and lack of proper employment.
05:59 June 17, 2012 by alistairwhitman
Both sides were completely inept which made for an all action sort of match. Neither side could string 3 pass together and neither controlled the midfield.

This England side are finally playing at their ability level. I expected/wanted more from Sverige and so the debate continues, is the side better with or without Zlatan?
06:44 June 17, 2012 by theibmsstate
lol..... sweden is out from Eurocup2012.
11:47 June 17, 2012 by scandiland
It's taken England 24 years to beat Sweden, I think we can let them win once in a while...
13:21 June 17, 2012 by theibmsstate
but what about ukraine team, sweden is out from Eurocup.
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