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June 15, 2012
• NSK Olimpijs'kyj, Kyiv (Kiev)
Referee: D. Skomina
• Attendance: 64640
G. Johnson 49' (own goal)
O. Mellberg 59'
A. Carroll 23'
T. Walcott 64'
D. Welbeck 78'
Thanks for joining me for the match, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Full-time in Kiev and England win 3-2 in a quite brilliant match full of entertainment. England took the lead through Andy Carroll, but were pegged back when Mellberg forced Johnson to put the ball into his own net. Mellberg then got his a goal to claim for his own to take the lead, but Walcott equalised with a bizarre effort that eluded Isaksson. Welbeck got the winner with a brilliant flick and England got the three points.
90' + 3'
Oxlade-Chamberlain is so nearly presented with a golden chance for England. Gerrard plays the forward pass and he only had the goalkeeper in front of him, but the Arsenal man's first-touch was poor and the ball runs through to Isaksson.
90' + 2'
What a chance for England to get a fourth! Walcott broke with such speed and delivered an excellent ball into the danger area, but Gerrard's shot is saved at point-blank range by Isaksson.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Anders Svensson
Gerrard lined up the free-kick very Cristiano Ronaldo-esque, but the finish certainly wasn't comparable to the Portugal star as the ball sails well over the bar. Isaksson could've been lying down there.
Sweden make a real mess of clearing their lines and Gerrard eventually wins a free-kick with Larsson penalised for handball.
England making a change here with goalscorer Danny Welbeck going off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He looks happy with his performance.
Hart palms away the corner despite being under considerable pressure.
Lescott concedes a free-kick on the left, but Larsson's delivery is headed away. Sweden still on the attack and win a corner as Lustig's cross is deflected behind.
Almost an opening for Sweden as Svensson picks out a pass through the England defence and Wilhelmsson nearly gets on the end of it.
England sitting very deep at the moment, inviting pressure on to them, presumably with the view to breaking when Sweden flood forward.
Bad news for England as Theo Walcott appears to injured his hamstring. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to come on, but Walcott is trying to run off the injury.
Good counter-attack there from England, but they should have made more of it. Walcott charged through, before passing to Gerrard to his left. He then found Welbeck, but the striker looked tired, and eventually Scott Parker shoots over the bar.
England doing their best to take the sting out of the game at the moment, knocking the ball around well, but they could be in for a very nervy final 10 minutes.
Assist Theo Walcott
Goal Danny Welbeck
GOAL!!!! England take the lead!! What an impact Theo Walcott has had. The Arsenal man burst into the area, evading two challenges and the played in a low cross into the six-yard box and Danny Welbeck produces an outrageous back-heel while on the spin, and the ball nestled into the bottom far corner. What a match.
Sweden look dangerous every time they go forward at the moment, and they have themselves another corner as Hart could only palm Ibrahimovic's shot round the post.
Great chance for Sweden there. Martin Olsson beat both Johnson and Walcott down the left before cutting the ball back to Kim Kallstrom, but the midfielder's first-time strike goes narrowly wide of the top corner.
England with a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Ashley Young's effort caused Isaksson no problems as it goes comfortably over. Poor attempt really.
Yellow Card Jonas Olsson
Martin reporting once again: "With this result, the happiest set of fans must be the Ukrainians, who would qualify with a draw against England, no matter the result between France and Sweden."
Silly mistake by Hart who fails to properly control Johnson's back pass, conceding a corner, but he redeems himself from the set-piece, confidently collecting the ball in mid-air.
Carroll goes for goal on the edge of the area, but it goes just over, refusing to dip for the Liverpool man.
Martin Langer reporting: "Can't they be a little bit more original? Sweden score and their fans sing "Seven Nations Army", England equalize and their fans do the same. There are millions of songs in the world boys, I'm sure you can do better."
This match is so open now with both teams going for the win, but that is not what England and Roy Hodgson will be wanting, with his teams generally set up to keep things tight.
The action is fast and furious at the moment, and furious is exactly what Gerrard was then, with the referee refusing to award him with a free-kick on the edge of the area. The captain was blocked off, but no foul given.
Goal Theo Walcott
GOAL!!!!! England are back on level terms! Substitute Theo Walcott finds the net from just outside the area, with the ball finding it's way into the centre of the net over Isaksson, who was completely unsighted. What a match we have on our hands here.
Yellow Card Olof Mellberg
What a save by Isaksson! Johnson crosses excellently and Terry gets a header in, but Isaksson is able to push it over the bar, but he didn't know a great deal about it.
The corner comes to nothing, as Johnson has a left-footed shot charged down. Ibrahimovic then leads a counter-attack for Sweden, bursting into the penalty area, but Johnson gets back brilliantly and Hart is able to gather.
England in trouble here, but have gone straight on to the attack. Young beats Larsson down the left, but he delivers a poor cross, however England get themselves a corner.
Assist Sebastian Larsson
Goal Olof Mellberg
GOAL!!!! Disaster for England as Olof Mellberg gets his second (yes, second!) goal of the match. Larsson delivers a masterful free-kick and Mellberg, completely unmarked, heads in.
Yellow Card James Milner
And that is the first yellow card of the match as Milner hacks down Martin Olsson.
Sweden looking considerably more dangerous than England at the moment. Elm was very nearly through on goal thanks to a pass in behind Johnson, but the Liverpool man recovered and conceded a throw-in.
Andy Carroll trying to cause problems in the Sweden penalty area, but he is forced to stretch to reach Johnson's cross and nothing comes of the attack.
And an update from Svend: "Who would have bet on Olof Mellberg to square things up for Sweden? His eighth goal in 117 internationals for Sweden. Sweden have scored in all of Erik Hamréns matches in charge so far."
Kris Voakes: "The scrappiest lifeline ever? Zlatan showed he wanted that more than anyone else with a taekwondo pass back into the box, and Mellberg just about forced it home."
England looking to bounce back immediately, but Svensson charges down Gerrard's shot.
Assist Olof Mellberg
Own Goal Glen Johnson
Andy Carroll gives away a free-kick in a dangerous area, cutting down Elmander. Zlatan to take.
Granqvist attacks down the right, whipping in a good cross from the right, but John Terry rises to head away before Elmander could make contact.
Sweden beginning the second-half on the front foot, controlling possession at the moment.
England kick-off the second-half.
The action is about to re-commence in Kiev.
(Svend update continued): "The Swedes are unfortunately still dreadfully fragile on corners and in-swining crosses and with Andy Carrol´s goal Sweden have conceded a headed goal in eight out of the last nine matches. Sweden generally played too slow and they also weren´t quick enough to get people forward when counter-attacking opportunities arose. However, they did manage to create a couple of half-chances towards the end of the half but still their EURO hopes of making it past the group stage certainly hangs in the balance."
And now an update from Svend Frandsen: "Swedes will go into the tea break with the morale boost that they despite falling behind 1-0 thanks to Andy Carrolls brilliant header have generally looked in slightly better shape than in the game against Ukraine. With Anders Svensson operating the engine room in midfield, "Blågult" have been able to patch up the spaces open in midfield. Also England has found it difficult to find space in between the backs and central defenders which has often been a problem for Erik Hamréns troops. However, there are still a lot of things to be desired from the Swedes."
Here is an update from Wayne Veysey: "England ended the first period in control and have looked the dominant team. But they need a second goal before they can have any confidence they will take all three points. There is little in the way of composure on the ball from England, other than from Steven Gerrard, although Sweden have been largely unimpressive and look there for the taking. Roy Hodgson must urge his team to Keep their foot on the accelerator, otherwise there is a danger that the lively Zlatan Ibrahimovic can engineer a fightback."
Well seems like most of you are expecting England to pick up the three points, a result that would see Sweden eliminated from the tournament. Got one 3-3 prediction, and that would ensure quite a second-half! Not expecting such a miracle though.
It has been well documented beforehand, but England have never beaten Sweden in a competitive match, with their most recent 'competitive' meeting coming in the 2006 World Cup. The match ended 2-2. So what do you think the score will be? Let me know in the comments box.
Halftime in Kiev and England go into the break 1-0 up thanks to a brilliant Andy Carroll header. They have been the better team throughout, with Sweden looking very sloppy and lazy in possession.
Here's an update from Kris Voakes: "Brilliantly, we now have the locals in the crowd chanting 'Ukraine, Ukraine!' It feels a little out of place given this is Sweden v England, but it's endearing all the same!"
Welbeck almost manages to get himself a chance as he charged through from the halfway line, looking to take on the Sweden defence singlehandedly, but echoes of Michael Owen vs Argentina in 1998 disappear as Mellberg puts in a great tackle.
England's biggest threat appears to be down the right-flank as Milner crosses left footed, but it was a bit too far for everyone.
Sweden enjoy a spell of possession in the England penalty area, but Elmander's attempted clever flick was poor and the attack comes to an end. He was trying to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but was more like Savo Milosevic.
Andy Carroll and the referee share a hug as the Liverpool man smashes a shot into the official. He acts like it didn't hurt him, but you know he is crying inside.
This time it Kim Kallstrom who tries his luck for Sweden, slamming a shot just over the bar from the edge of the area. The Lyon man has quite a shot in him.
Great opening for England and Ashley Young is released down the left. He charges into the penalty area, but instead of squaring the ball into the area he elects to shoot for the near post, but he only finds the side-netting. Poor effort.
England continuously looking for the long-ball to Carroll up front, but this time he can't do a great deal. Hardly helping the stereotypes of English football!
Here is Martin del Palacio, reporting from the stadium in Kiev: "Eerie vibe coming from the Swedish stands since the goal. They had been chanting for days and now they just can't find their way back into the game. Every try dies after 10 seconds or so, while the English have been repeating the tune from Seven Nations Army for the last five minutes or so."
Ibrahimovic with another chance as the AC Milan man shoots left footed from the edge of the area, but thankfully for England a block takes the sting out of it, although Hart still had work to do, but caught the ball with minimal fuss.
Young wins a free-kick out wide on the halfway line, with Svensson dumping the winger on the ground. The Manchester United man went down in spectacular fashion. "Surely not" I hear you shout.
More from Svend: "With Andy Carroll's goal, Sweden have conceded headers in eight of the last nine matches. Hamrén must be furious with Granqvist and Mellberg."
Ibrahimovic picking the ball up incredibly deep for Sweden, looking to start the attacks from the centre of midfield at times. They are having their fair share of the ball, but not doing anything with it.
England looking a bit more calm now, with the Sweden onslaught over for the timebeing.
It's fair to say Carroll has certainly just justified his selection. Sweden straight back on the attack though, with England camped in their penalty area.
Assist Steven Gerrard
Goal Andy Carroll
GOAL!!!! England take the lead through Andy Carroll! Steven Gerrard plays in a brilliant cross from deep and the Liverpool man leapt to greet it on the edge of the penalty area, heading it into the bottom far corner. Exquisite header.
Here's an update from our Sweden expert Svend Frandsen: "Looks like Hamrén have told Zlatan to go far back into midfield to collect the ball and become more part of the Swedsih set-up, something he failed to do during the second half against Ukraine. But very little space to operate on in midfield."
Ibrahimovic has his first chance of the match as he drills an effort along the floor into Hart's arms. Easy for the England goalkeeper.
Neither side really in control here with both teams giving the ball away regularly. End-to-end stuff here so far.
Good defending by Glen Johnson as he gets back to take the ball away from Ibrahimovic just outside the England area after Larsson's cross evaded Lescott.
England go fairly close once again, this time through Danny Welbeck. James Milner whipped in an excellent cross from the right, but Welbeck's glancing header goes wide of the far post. Encouraging for England.
Martin Olsson attacking down the left wing and wins an advanced throw-in as Johnson blocks his cross. England eventually clear their lines, but the long ball to Carroll just gives the Swedes possession again.
Sweden get their first chance of the match, and again it is a long-range effort, but Larsson driven strike produces a routine catch from Hart.
Ibrahimovic tries a long diagonal ball to Larsson who burst into the penalty area, but Cole coolly nods the ball back to Hart. Danger averted.
Brilliant save by Isaksson! We have had the first chance of the match as Scott Parker half-volleys the ball towards the top far corner after a Welbeck knock down, but the former Manchester City goalkeeper stretched and palmed it away.
England win a free-kick just inside the Sweden half as Larsson puts Parker on the floor.
Both sides effectively sparring with each other at the moment, knocking the ball around their respective defences when in possession.
Kris Voakes, reporting from Kiev: "Forgive me if I mistakenly refer to England as 'Scotland', it's only due to the choice of colours for their change strip. Sweden back in their favoured yellow after wearing navy in defeat against Ukraine. "There was quite the roar when the teams came out, and the stadium is close to full now. Maybe 4 or 5,000 short of capacity at the most."
Carroll certainly getting stuck in in these opening stages as he gives away another free-kick.
First free-kick of the match goes Sweden's way as Carroll fouls Granqvist in the air near the Sweden penalty area.
Kick-off just moments away now in Kiev.
And Goal.com's England expert Wayne Veysey has given us his take on the Three Lions' line-up: "If England's team selection is anything to go by, this will not be a match for the neutral to savour. Explaining his decision to start with Andy Carroll, Roy Hodgson told the BBC: "Against a team with the height and power of Sweden we needed as much aerial height as possible. It's important to get another forward player on... I wanted Ashley Young to go back to his original position".
Our man in Kiev, Kris Voakes, has given an update on the atmosphere in the stadium: "Ladies and gents, we officially have a real rarity... The England fans are massively outnumbered by the Swedes in the stadium. We knew it would happen, but the visualisation is something else. How much will that have a say, do we think?"
Sweden have made three changes from the team that lost to Ukraine in their opening fixture. In defence Mikael Lustig is replaced by Jonas Olsson, in midfield 35-year-old Anders Svensson comes in for Ola Toivonen and Johan Elmander starts in attack with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The former Bolton man replaces Markus Rosenberg.
England have made just the one change from the team that battled to a 1-1 draw with France on Monday night as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drops to the bench, with Andy Carroll replacing him. That change means Ashley Young reverts to his more usual position on the left-wing.
And Sweden line-up like this: Isaksson; Granqvist, Mellberg, J. Olsson, M. Olsson; Larsson, Svensson, Kallstrom, Elm; Ibrahimovic, Elmander
The England team this evening is: Hart; Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole; Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Young; Carroll, Welbeck
If you weren't aware, this match has been delayed by 15 minutes to 21:00CET due to the suspension of the Ukraine - France match, which was caused thanks to an electrical storm in Donetsk.
I am Ryan Benson and I will be describing the action for you tonight, with kick-off 32 minutes away.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! commentary of the Group D tie between England and Sweden.
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