Swedes cheer double fire into France's Euro 2016
AFP/The Local · 18 Nov 2015, 08:19
Published: 17 Nov 2015 22:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Nov 2015 08:19 GMT+01:00
- Denmark-Sweden match under increased security (16 Nov 15)
- Sweden edge Denmark in Euro 2016 play-off tie (14 Nov 15)
Swedes were still celebrating on Wednesday after Ibrahimovic scored a brace as Sweden qualified for the Euro 2016 with a 4-3 aggregate victory over Denmark.
Ibrahimovic's goals gave Sweden a commanding 2-0 lead on the night and 4-1 lead on aggregate before a late rally from Denmark saw Yussuf Poulsen and Jannik Vestergaard find the net.
"They said I should retire, but I sent their whole country into retirement," the 34-year-old Swede, whose age and physical prowess on the pitch had been questioned by the Danish opponents, told Swedish broadcaster Kanal 5 after the match.
The Swedish team cheering after qualifying for the Euro 2016. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
The 34-year-old was indeed the star as Sweden completed a victory that was more comfortable than the final scoreline suggested.
He opened the scoring on 19 minutes with a delicate finish from Kim Källström's corner.
It was a second vital contribution from Källström in the early stages, having diverted a goalbound effort from Denmark on to the bar as early as the eighth minute.
Ibrahimovic settled the affair 14 minutes from time with a stunning free-kick from distance that meant Denmark would now need to score an improbable four times to reach the Euros.
The hosts, who had eliminated Sweden from the 2010 World Cup play-offs six years ago, did not give up and pulled back late goals from Poulsen and Vestergaard, but they nonetheless came up well short.
Shortly after the game, Morten Olsen quit as Denmark's coach after 15 years in the hotseat.
"I've told the players that the Federation and I have agreed that it would make no sense for me to continue," said the 66-year-old.
"The last few months have been frustrating. I couldn't find consistency either in our performances or our line-up. I take full responsibility."
Olsen took Denmark to the World Cup last 16 in 2002 and the Euro quarter-finals two years later but this was the second tournament in a row for which Denmark had failed to qualify.
Security had been stepped up at the Parken arena in Copenhagen ahead of the Nordic playoff in the wake of Friday's terror attacks in France, where some Euro 2016 games are set to be held next summer.
In Germany a friendly between the home team and the Netherlands scheduled for Tuesday evening was cancelled after a bomb threat, just hours after another friendly between Belgium and Spain was also called off.
Sweden goes into Pot 3 following its victory, which also includes Baltic neighbour Poland and the Czech Republic.