England send Sweden out
England's Andy Carroll (second right) celebrates scoring their first goal of the game with team-mate Steven Gerrard (centre)
Due to the storm which forced a 40 minute delay to the Ukraine-France match, kick-off was 15 minutes later than the designated time, with the knowledge that neither team could afford a defeat.
It was end-to-end movement in the opening stages of the game and in the 11th minute Sebastian Larsson took a crack at goal but Joe Hart was equal to it.
The English were dominating possession with precision and it showed when they broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute through Andy Carroll. Steven Gerrard floated in a long cross over the Swedish defence allowing the Liverpool striker to rise up and head home an unstoppable effort to beat Andreas Isaksson.
Just after the half hour mark Zlatan Ibrahimovic unleashed a shot on the edge of the D, which took a deflection off John Terry’s leg, but it fell kindly to Hart, causing no trouble for the leaders.
Ashley Cole supplied through to Ashley Young but the number 11’s shot stung the side netting of Iskasson’s goal just three minutes later. Sweden failed to draw one back before the half when Hart beat Johan Elmander to the ball inside the box in the 40th minute.
The Swedes were in dire need of a reply straight after the break and they did so in great fashion through an Olof Mellberg-cum- Glen Johnson goal, just four minutes into the second period. Ibrahimovic fired in a shot, from the rebounded ball of his initial set-piece, into the area to meet Mellberg whose shot was palmed by Hart but it hit the body of Johnson to go into the back of the net after scrambling on the goal line.
But that wasn’t the last England were to hear from the 34-year-old as he added another to make the scoreline 2-1 just a minute before the hour mark. Form a set piece, yet again, Hart was caught exposed on an aerial effort when Mellberg managed to header it in past the goalkeeper, causing a group celebration between the players.
The second half it was raining goals as Theo Walcott, who replaced James Milner straight after the goal, managed to put his side level in the 64th minute by whipping in a cleared corner which swerved off the right-foot of player to stun Isaksson.
Ibrahimovic was in search of his fifth consecutive goal in five appearances when he struck a long range shot in the 76th but it flew wide at the far post but the goal was to fall into the back of the net on the other end of the field.
The speed of Walcott tore through the Swede’s defence to unleash a ball to Danny Welbeck who finished with a remarkable back heel into the back of the net with just 11 minutes remaining on the clock.
On the 90 Steven Gerrard flung over a free-kick while Isaksson pulled off an amazing save when he managed to chest away the Liverpool skipper’s shot, who was clean through on goal.
But the Swedes couldn’t salvage a stoppage time goal to prevent a premature elimination.