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October 11, 2011
• Råsundastadion, Solna
Referee: C. Çakιr
• Attendance: 33066
K. Källström 15'
S. Larsson 52'
O. Toivonen 54'
K. Huntelaar 23'
D. Kuijt 50'
90' + 4'
That's it from me, Owen Neilson. You can catch me commentating live on the internet on Saturday in Serie B in Italy and join me on English networks around the world for Cesena - Fiorentina in the early game on Sunday. Over and out.
90' + 3'
Yellow CardRafael van der Vaart
90' + 3'
Corner number 12!! In the dieing seconds....OooOooOoo Can they do it.....goes short crossed in but there are too many yellow shirts. Free-kick to Sweden after a foul by van der Vaart and that's going to be enough. The final whistle goes!! Sweden inflict only Holland's second defeat in 41 games, and qualify for Euro 2012. Pitch invasion by the bench and technical staff and a massive pile on.
Another corner for Holland but straight to Isaksson who belts it up the field. 90 minutes are up and Sweden have almost joined the Oranje in Euro 2012.
Remember Holland haven't lost a qualifier since Belarus in 2007, so they're pushing for this goal like mad. Crosses coming in from left and right but it looks like Sweden are going to hold on as Elmander runs 50 metres down the flank and wins a throw-in.
All out defense by Sweden as Holland push for the equalizer. They can hardly be disappointed with 9 wins and a defeat as I said earlier. Johnny Rotten watching on from the touchline and Elm!! Almost lobs Vorm from 40 metres. The Swansea keeper touches over for a corner.
Nice skill from Elia wins a free-kick to the left for Holland as Boulahrouz comes on. Holland want 10 wins from 10. It's cleared to the half-way line and the Swedish crowd, riled by the P.A sing encouragement to their countrymen.
Luuk de Jong
Another corner for the Dutch, van der Vaart takes to the penalty spot but the whistle goes against Bruma. Ten to go, but as we saw, or I saw and you read, anything can happen in a few minutes.
But wait, that's Italian football, of course that doesn't go on in other forms of the game.
Defensive substitution for Sweden, attacking sub for Holland' says it all. The conspiracy theorist in me is wondering if there is any history between these two sides in terms of qualification,favours owed etc...
What a chance for van Bommel but the block comes in crucially at the last moment.
Not sure who Erik Hamren looks like, some glam rocker from the eighties. Wait, that's it, Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols! What a shout if I do say so myself. 33,169 is the official attendance. This is going to be a nail-biter all the way to the end.
Another corner for the Netherlands and the Swedish coach Hamren needs to make a change because Sweden are asking for it. And yet another corner.
Really open game now, I would recommend you watching it, but then you wouldn't be reading this. Another corner for Holland, and news that Denmark have scored against Portugal and are winning, which means, bear with me, that Sweden can't concede. They have gone into defensive mode since going ahead. Danger mouse!
Free header at the back post after another corner, this time from van Bommel but Isaksson saves from Huntelaar. Another corner and the keeper punches, then a shot from van der Vaart goes for a throw.
Kallstrom tries to recreate the magic that got us underway from 35 yards but wide to the right. Vorm catches it easily after one bounce, and Holland go down the other end with the mighty Dirk, spitting image of sloth from the Goonies. He wins a corner which comes to nothing.
Free-kick in a dangerous area for Holland, 30 metres out and just past the post!! Huntelaar, bending, curling, teasing the 35,000 in the stadium but Isaksson at full stretch can rest easy.
This game is rubbish, there hasn't been a goal for three minutes. Sweden have a throw deep in the Dutch half and a chance for Elmander at the back post but it goes straight to Vorm.
I've barely got time to type! Pulled back by Elmander and Toivonen who plays in the Eredevisie for PSV Eindhoven gets the hosts back in front. 3-2 Sweden and what a response after going 1-2 down.
Larsson!! 2-2. Boom Boom!! Straight back into the game. There was a handball by Mathijsen i think it was, and Sunderland player Larsson tucks it in....3-2!! 3-2!! 3-2 Sweden!! Toivonen!
Penalty GoalSebastian Larsson
van Persie played in over the top, the Arsenal striker shoots parried by Isaksson. But wait!! Penalty Sweden!!
Sweden know they have to win, so I'm expecting something good from them in this half, but they haven't touched the ball much in the opening of the second half. And oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!! Dirk Kuyt scores!!! 1-2 Holland.
45' + 1'
Hungary and Finland still drawing 0-0 so that won't effect Sweden's position in second but their automatic qualification is still in doubt. As it stands Denmark will go through because they are beating Portugal, and a draw for Sweden won't be enough. Back under way.
45' + 1'
The referee slips over which brings a cheer and Cakir decides he's seen enough. 1-1 at half-time.
Holland again pushing the play, but Sweden go down the other end and win a corner. In by Kallstrom but not a good ball, and Holland counter quickly.
That Sweden Zlatan stat was interesting. Ibra is an enigma, last year carried Milan to Christmas then disappeared via a few red cards. Most people rate him, yet he seems to make formation's lives difficult because you have to play to his strengths, instead of the teams.
I'll update with the current standings after half-time, pointless getting too over-excited at this stage. We've certainly got a busy summer approaching, though one has just finished. Euro 2012 and the London Olympics, heady times in Europe next year.
Holland compressing play into the Swedish half, looking for the second. Sweden going for a long ball up to Elmander but offside. Meanwhile van Persie takes an angled ball down on the chest and fires narrowly wide of Andreas Isaksson's near post.
Free-kick to Holland in a dangerous area to the right, Elm with the challenge on van Bommel, but it was little girl stuff from the AC Milan midfielder. Whipped in by van der Vaart but the whistle goes. Possibly ashamed for giving the first one.
If my pet's life depended on it; random analogy, I think I have to go with....Sweden, no Holland, oh!!! Swedenm I meant Sweden! Toivonen finds himself six yards out after a cross from the right, and blasts over on the turn. That was almost harder to miss.
You can never relax with him around, the defending wouldn't have been worthy of a drunk under-10 team let alone international football. Ball in midfield as the noise goes up from the home fans. Whatever the permutations They certainly can't lose this one.
Colonel Coerts with another great statistic; That was Huntelaar's 30th goal for the Oranje, the Schalke forward needs ten more to equal Patrick Kluivert's record.
Goal!!! What was I saying, must have been too much cheese! Huntelaar appears at the back post, and if there's one man who likes goals it's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. 1-1. Who was marking the most dangerous player in the qualifying competition? He should have had two defenders holding his ankles.
The ball ricochets off van Persie across the Swedish box but bounces out for a goal kick. If you're Dutch do you really care if you lose this one? You can just say the normal platitudes after the game, get whatever money's involved and head back to your club without any blame.
An off the ball incident with Elmander and a free-kick goes to Sweden. Stop your moaning man there was no contact.
Stone the crows that was a good free-kick, the commentator reckons it's one of the best of the season, I wouldn't go that far, but it was a peach.
Holland have been installed as joint favourites with Spain and Germany....but that doesn't mean anything now. GOAL!! Kim Källström curls an absolute pearl over the wall into the top corner leaving Vorm no chance. 1-0 Sweden.
Good work by Ola Toivonen on the left trying to pick out Larsson but shielded out. Holland playing a 4-2-3-1 with goal machine Huntelaar leading the line.
The Swedish have scored 28 goals in qualifying, the Dutch 39, in part thanks to that 11-0 win over San Marino. No real action around the box in the opening 6 minutes, both sides feeling the other out.
If Sweden do draw there's no guarantee they will qualify and could go, depending on other results into the play-off with other second placed teams.
Off we go. Interesting problems with commentary on ESPN, the feed is getting mixed with the British edition and the commentators in the studio in America or wherever don't know what to do. Holland playing in white, pitch is in good condition.
Predictions? Hmm, it's a massive game for Sweden, whereas the Dutch are playing for pride, and some of the players might have half an eye on returning to action for their clubs. Holland to win 3-1. That will be completely wrong I'm sure, but we're almost ready to find out. Packed house for this one to cheer the home side on.
That's your aperitivo of statistical information. The players are coming out onto the pitch. Oh, one more. The Dutch have only lost one game in their last forty-one, and that was against Spain in the World Cup Final. Thought I'd save the most intimidating for the end.
No Robben or Afellay for Holland tonight but Tottenham's Rafael van der Vaart gets his 92nd cap.
Dreadful weather in Sweden's win over Finland last week, and it was equally wet as Holland beat Moldova 1-0. Not looking too wet at the moment as the Dutch fans bring some colour to the stands.
The game being played at the Råsundastadion in Solna, 35000 capacity. Holland have 27 points from 9 games, and I'm sure they'll want to keep that unbeaten record tonight.
Sweden suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat when they last met in the Oranje Stadium in Amsterdam last October, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay getting two each.
It's not going to be at all easy for the Swedes as the Netherlands are one of only three teams that still boast a 100 per cent record in the Euro 2012 qualification campaign.
On the other side, Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar tops the goalscoring charts with 11 goals from seven Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Great stat from our Dutch hero Stefan Coerts; the Swedes have won their last nine games without Zlatan. Strange that as he's their most famous player and a talisman for AC Milan.
Some of the Swedish team are very familiar with all things Dutch, Andreas Isaksson, Pontus Wernbloom, Rasmus Elm, Emir Bajrami, Alexander Gerndt and Ola Toivonen all ply their trade in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Sweden's record in 22 meetings with The Netherlands is; won 7, drawn 5, lost 10, with 4 wins and a draw in 7 meetings at home.
Sweden are without key striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, who picked up a suspension with a yellow card against Finland
Already sure of a play-off spot, Sweden will seal an automatic place as best runners-up if they beat the Netherlands tonight.
Netherlands; Vorm, van der Wiel, Bruma, Mathujsen, Pieters, van Bommel, van Persie, Strootman, Huntelaar, van der Vaart, Kuyt
Team news first; Sweden, Isaksson,Andreas Isaksson,Olof Mellberg, Daniel Majstorovic,Martin Olsson, Sebastian Larsson,Anders Svensson, Kim Källström, Johan Elmander,Ola Toivonen,Rasmus Elm
Here we go, it's the final game Euro qualifier in Group E between Sweden and the Netherlands with me resident minute by minute man Owen Neilson.
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