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Friday, 15 June 2012
2012 European Championship Finals First Phase Group D, Match Three

Sweden 2 England 3 [0-1]
 

Natsional'nyî Sportyvnyî Kompleks, Pechersk, Kyiv
Attendance: 48,876 (to 70,000
); Kick-off: 8.01pm EEST, 6.01pm BST;
Kick-off was delayed because other Group D match, Ukraine vs. France, was suspended for an hour.

Live on BBC One/HD (UK) - Commentator: Guy Mowbray

England - Andy Carroll (header 23 22:44), Theo Walcott (twenty-five yard shot 64 63:32), Danny Welbeck (backheeled flick 78 77:15)
Sweden - Glen Johnson (own goal from a Mellberg shot 49 48:35), Olof Mellberg (header 59 58:16),

Match Summary
Sweden Squad

England Squad

Results 2010-2015 England - James Milner (58 57:20)
Sweden - Olof Mellberg (63 62:31), Jonas Olsson (72 71:16), Anders Svensson (91 90:16)

Sweden kicked-off. 95 minutes (46:06 & 49:03).

 

Match Summary

 

Officials from Slovenia

Sweden

Type

England

Referee (blue) - Damir Skomina
3
5 (5 August 1976), Koper, FIFA-listed 2003

Assistant Referees - Primoz Arhar, 44 (19 May 1968), Vrhnika & Matej Zunič, 29.
Matej Zunič is a replacement for original assistant referee, Marko Stančin, 43 (5 April 1968), from Ljubljana. He had failed a fitness before the start of the Finals.
 
Additional Referees - Matej Jug, 31 (25 September 1980) & Slavko Vinčić, 32 (25 November 1979).
 

Fourth official -
Florian Meyer, 43 (21 November 1968), Braunschweig, Germany, FIFA-listed 2002.
 

Reserve Assistant Referee - Jan-Hendrik Salver
, Germany
Evaluator - Jozef Marko, Slovakia

12 Goal Attempts 15
8 Attempts on Target 9
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
3 Corner Kicks Won 3
0 Offside Calls Against 0
14 Fouls Conceded 10
48% Possession 52%
     

Sweden Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (6th June 2012) 17th
ELO rating 15th to 16th
Colours: Made by Umbro - Yellow shirts with blue pinstripes, yellow collar with blue trim, blue shorts, yellow socks with blue trim.
Capt: Zlatan Ibrahimović Coach: Erik Hamrén, 54 (27 June 1957), appointed part-time Head Coach 4 November 2009, full-time from 1 September 2010. 26th match.
Marcus Christian Allbäck, appointed Players Manager 7 November 2009.
Sweden Lineup
1 Isaksson, Andreas 30 3 October 1981 G Philips Sport Vereniging NV, Netherlands 95 0
13 Olsson, Jonas 29 10 March 1983 CD West Bromwich Albion FC, England 9 0
Jonas Olsson cautioned in the 72nd minute for a foul.
3
Mellberg, E. Olof 34 3 September 1977 CD Olympiacos Club of Fans of Piraeus, Greece 116 8
Mellberg cautioned in the 63rd minute for a foul, following a late challenge on Andy Carroll.
4 Granqvist, Andreas, off 66th min. 27 16 April 1985 RB Genoa CFC SpA, Italy 20 2
5 Olsson, Martin T.W. 24 17 May 1988 LB Blackburn Rovers FC, England 11 4
6 Elm, Rasmus C., off 81st min. 24 17 March 1988 M Alkmaar Zaanstreek, Netherlands 26 1
7 Larsson, Sebastian B.U. 26 6 June 1985 M Sunderland AFC, England 43 5
8 Svensson, Anders G. 35 17 July 1976 M IF Elfsborg 129 18
Svensson cautioned in the 91st minute for unsporting behaviour, for complaining at the free-kick that has just been awarded against him.
9 Källström, Kim 29 24 August 1982 M Olympique Lyonnais, France 94 16
10 Ibrahimović, Zlatan 30 3 October 1981 F AC Milan SpA, Italy 79 32
11 Elmander, Johan E.C., off 78th min. 30 27 May 1981 F Galatasaray ŞK, Turkey 65 16
Sweden Substitutes
2 Lustig, C. Mikael, on 66th min. for Granqvist 25 13 December 1986 D Glasgow Celtic, Scotland 26 1
22 Rosenberg, N. Markus, on 78th min. for Elmander 29 27 September 1982 F unattached 33 6
21 Wilhelmson, Christian U., on 81st min (80:46) for Elm 32 8 December 1979 M Al-Hilal Saudi FC, Saudia Arabia 76 9

unused substitutes:

12-Johan Wiland, 14-Tobias Hysén, 15-Mikael Antonsson, 16-Pontus Wernbloom, 17-Behrang Safari, 18-Samuel Holmén, 19-Emir Bajrami, 20-Ola Toivonen, 23-Pår Hansson.
   
4-4-2(1-1) Isaksson -
 Granqvist
(Lustig), Mellberg, J. Olsson, M. Olsson -
Larsson, Svensson, Källström, Elm
(Wilhelmson) -
Ibrahimovic -
Elmander
(Rosenberg).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 28.9 Appearances/Goals 62.5 9.2

 

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (6th June 2012) 6th
ELO rating 7th to 6th
Colours: The 2011 away shirt - Dark blue shirts with light blue collar, dark blue shorts, dark blue socks with light blue tops.
Capt: Steven Gerrard, 19th captaincy. Coach: Roy Hodgson, 64, appointed 1 May 2012,
4th match, W 3 - D 1 - L 0 - F 6 - A 3.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 25 19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 20  14 GA
2 Johnson, Glen M. 27 23 August 1984 RB Liverpool FC 38 1
Johnson's 59th minute own goal came from an Ibrahamovic shot that had parried towards goal off Mellberg.  Hart saved it, pushing it into Johnson's chest, after which he retrieved it off his own goalline, only to hit the post and into the net.
3 Cole, Ashley 31 20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 96 0
4 Gerrard, Steven G. 32 30 May 1980 M Liverpool FC 94 19
15 Lescott, Joleon P. 29 16 August 1982 CD Manchester City FC 18 1
6 Terry, John G. 31 7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 75 6
16 Milner, James P., off 61st min. 26 4 January 1986 M Manchester City FC 28 0
Milner cautioned in the 58th minute for a foul, after allowing Martin Olsson to get away from him and then slicing him to the ground with a poor tackle.
17 Parker, Scott M. 31 13 October 1980 M Tottenham Hotspur FC 15 0
9 Carroll, Andrew T. 23 6 January 1989 F Liverpool FC 5 2
22 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., off 90th min. 21 26 November 1990 F Manchester United FC 7 2
11 Young, Ashley S. 26 9 July 1985 M Manchester United FC 23 6
England Substitutes
7 Walcott, Theo J., on 61st min. (60:30) for Milner 23 16 March 1989 M Arsenal FC 26 4
20 Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander M.D., on 90th min (89:13) for Welbeck 18 15 August 1993 M Arsenal FC 4 0

unused substitutes:

8-Jordan Henderson, 12-Leighton Baines, 13-Rob Green, 14-Phil Jones, 18-Phil Jagielka, 19-Stewart Downing, 21-Jermain Defoe, 23-Jack Butland.
   
4-4-2 Hart -
Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole -
Milner
(Walcott), Gerrard, Parker, Young -
Welbeck
(Oxlade-Chamberlain), Carroll.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27.5 Appearances/Goals 38.0 3.2

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

Well now, where do I start with this one?  All the tradition of this fixture was stacked against England, with their record against the Swedes in tournament play nothing short of disastrous.  But these records are there to be broken and England, albeit through a torturous route, achieved their goal.  The boys have finally come to the party!

For the first five minutes it was cat and mouse between the teams as they felt each other out.  Most of the players, of both sides, were very familiar to each other through the Premier League fixtures, and both knew what the other could do.  In the 7th minute though, England made the first noteworthy goal attempt, when a snapshot by Scott Parker was palmed away by Andreas Isaksson in the Swedish goal.  In fact England were gradually gaining the advantage and they were working hard all around the team.  Ashley Cole's touch let him down when in a good position but then great play by Andy Carroll and James Milner ended with a good cross into the box.  Danny Welbeck met the ball with his head, but couldn't quite get either the purchase or the direction and the effort went wide.

Sweden's main threat, predictably, was coming from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the AC Milan player hit a strong shot from distance that Joe Hart dived to his right to save.  At this stage the centre of the midfield was tight and congested, but on 23 minutes England fashioned a wonderful goal.  Skipper Steven Gerrard picked up a clearance out on the right and then delivered a peach of a cross into the path of the marauding Carroll.  The Liverpool striker nipped in front of the defender and powered in a magnificent header from 15 yards out.  Tommy Lawton and Nat Lofthouse would have been proud of that one!

No doubt flashbacks went through the England fans minds though, as we had taken the lead in several previous clashes with the Swedes, but this time it would be different wouldn't it?

Some defensive sloppiness by England gave Sweden half-chances but on the whole the Three Lions were fairly comfortable with things.  Ibrahimovic continued to cause some concern and again he made Hart work with another effort.  The lively Seb Larsson too, hit a long range shot that Hart was also equal to.  On 35 minutes though England had another great chance when Cole's clever pass sent Ashley Young clear and attacking the penalty box.  Unfortunately the Manchester United striker chose the wrong option and elected to shoot when a pull back to the advancing Carroll would probably have been the better choice.  The ball hit the side-netting.  At the other end more sloppiness, this time from Glen Johnson, gave Kim Kallstrom a chance, but he shot over.  England can never fully rid themselves of their infuriating habit of giving the ball away in crucial areas and bringing pressure onto their defence that they should not have to experience.

As the half ended though, better play on the right ended with an overhit cross from Milner and then a great turn by Welbeck was met by an equally fine tackle from Jonas Olsson.  Finally Hart cut out a dangerous low cross from the right as England went in at the break with their one goal lead intact.  Apart from Ibrahimovic, Sweden seemed to have little to offer so it was a satisfied England team that trooped off for a cuppa. 

With Sweden facing elimination if they lost this game, they came out after the interval with a renewed determination.  All England had to do was match that extra effort, but within three minutes their lead was wiped out and they were distinctly put on the back foot.  Carroll was penalised for a foul on the edge of the area, a bit unlucky that, as he had just been fouled previously without it being punished.  Needless to say it was Ibrahimovic who lined up the kick and his shot was blocked by the wall.  But the ball bounced back to the Swede and he then tried to volley a shot at goal.  The ball skewed off the outside of his foot but fell straight to the unmarked Olof Mellberg, with Johnson putting him onside.  Mellberg shot, Hart pushed it away, but the ball struck Johnson and the Liverpool player could not stop it going over the line for an own goal.  Not only was it an awful goal to concede but it was so frustrating that England had let Sweden back into it.

In the ten minutes after the break England had played as poorly as they had for some considerable time.  Suddenly everyone looked leaden footed, and there was no sign of the team finding a way out of this rut.  On 59 minutes the inevitable happened following another needlessly conceded free-kick, this time by Milner.  Larsson's well-flighted free-kick was completely messed up by the England defence and Mellberg had a free header.  Another awful goal from England's point of view, and to be honest, at this stage there seemed no way back for the team.  They did win a corner, but from it Sweden broke quickly and Ibrahimovic almost scored at the other end.

But then came a turning point in the game as Roy Hodgson decided to replace the off-form Milner with Theo Walcott.  Immediately England were visibly lifted and John Terry looked certain to score with a close range header, but somehow Isaksson turned the ball over the bar.  From the corner the ball was cleared to the edge of the box and Walcott picked it up and let fly from 20 yards.  This time the keeper was beaten as the ball dipped and swerved.  Two each!

This lifted England out of their slumbers and Gerrard almost burst through, and then Cole, Gerrard and Parker forged a chance for Carroll to shoot just over.  A young free-kick also went over whilst at the other end Kallstrom hit a shot wide after more poor defensive play by England.  Hart tipped an Ibrahimovic shot around a post and then, amazingly, England regained the lead.

In the 77th minute Walcott again gained possession and this time he darted between two defenders into the penalty box.  When his low cross came over Welbeck somehow twisted his body to back-heel with his right foot wide of the keeper.  It was an extraordinary finish as the striker had his back to goal. 

In the remaining minutes there were few alarms for England and in fact it was they that fashioned the two best chances from swift counter-attacks.  First Parker shot over from a great position and then in the 92nd minute Gerrard seemed certain to score only for Isaksson to once again save the day for Sweden.

This was an amazing game, and in the end all England rejoiced in the win, but boy, we do make things hard for ourselves at times.  But credit to the undoubted spirit in this squad of players, and also credit the manager for making a very decisive substitution which proved a masterstroke.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
TheFA.com
UEFA.com
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor

____________________

CG