May 22 2013 Latest news:
Friday, June 15, 2012
Group D: England 3 Sweden 2
Andy Carroll, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck all scored as England took the lead, fell behind and battled back to triumph over Sweden in their second Euro 2012 Group D match.
Roy Hodgson’s men took the lead with a goal made by Liverpool players as Steven Gerrard produced a wonderful ball for Andy Carroll to head home.
However, the Three Lions sat back and they were punished as Olof Mellberg levelled the scores four minutes into the second half after the Liverpool striker gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position although it may go down as a Glen Johnson own goal.
And the former Aston Villa defender was on hand to head his country into the lead 10 minutes later as he headed home Larsson’s free-kick as the England defence fell asleep and in the celebration Zlatan Ibrahimovic roared in the face of Joe Hart.
England woke from their slumber as Theo Walcott came on for James Milner on the hour mark and three minutes and two touches later the Arsenal man levelled with a 20-yard volley.
And Walcott was at it again with 12 minutes remaining, charging down the right side of the penalty area leaving two defenders in their wake, before providing a finish that was as good as the run from Danny Welbeck, who backheeled it in.
Scott Parker produced an excellent shot and forced a good save from Andreas Isaksson, stretching to his left before Seb Larsson’s long-range effort found Hart’s midriff.
Danny Welbeck then headed James Milner’s cross wide with 15 minutes gone as the Three Lions made an encouraging start.
And they took the lead midway through the first half and captain Gerrard was again the provider.
The Liverpool striker produced an inch perfect cross and found the head of Carroll, who powered his header past Isaksson.
England decided to sit back briefly although Ashley Young had a good opportunity when he might have been better off passing.
The Three Lions sat deeper and deeper as the first half wore on and they went in at half time with the lead, something they failed to do against France.
The second half started in exactly the same fashion and were made to pay four minutes into the second half as Ashley Cole misjudged a crossfield pass before Carroll gave away a free-kick.
Ibrahimivic took the free-kick that ricocheted off the wall back to the Swede whose scissor kick landed in the path of Mellberg, who forced the ball home despite the best efforts of Glen Johnson.
And 10 minutes later Larsson produced a brilliant cross and Mellberg was unmarked to head home.
Johnson’s 63rd minute cross then produced a bullet header from John Terry but Isaksson was on hand to block the header.
From the resulting corner, Sweden failed to clear and Walcott, who had been on the field for less than five minutes, fired a rocket with Isaksson unsighted and into the middle of the goal.
Back came Sweden and Kim Kallstrom nearly restored their lead after excellent work by down the left flank, leaving Johnson and Walcott for dead.
Moments, later Hart was on hand to palm away Ibrahimovic’s goalbound effort.
But England retook the lead after 78 minutes as Walcott charged down the right flank, beating two defenders for dead and teed up Danny Welbeck.
The Manchester United striker’s finish was sublime, backheeling the ball in the air to restore the lead.
It meant that England had to endure a nervy 12 minutes as Sweden tested England’s defence again from set pieces.
And England could have wrapped it up in the second minute of stoppage time as Walcott charged down the right and crossed where Gerrard’s volley was well blocked by Isaksson.
Sweden, try as they might, were unable to grab the equaliser and England picked up the win to send their opponents home in the process and the Three Lions can afford to draw against Ukraine in Donetsk on Tuesday in order to progress.