Euro 2012: England eliminate Sweden after a thrilling 3-2 victory


Sweden are out of Euro2012 after Daniel Welbeck scored a dramatic and superb back-heel goal to clinch a fightback win for England. Andy Carroll had given Hodgson's men the half-time lead but things went crazy after the break and just past the hour mark the score was already 2-2. Olof Mellberg forced a Glen Johnson own goal before scoring himself to put Sweden in the lead, while Theo Walcott levelled the score. Substitute Walcott did the damage again to clinch it for England as he set up Welbeck with 12 minutes left to end Sweden's hopes.

England started the game well and the first threat came from Scott Parker whose fierce drive forced goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson into an early save. Sweden were not sitting back either and Sebastian Larsson tested Joe Hart but the England goalie was up to the occasion. Ibrahimović also had a chance but couldn't put it past Hart. The first goal fell on 23 minutes when captain Steven Gerrard sent in a long diagonal cross which Andy Carroll headed in from the middle of the box with a splendid effort. Ibrahimović tried to react for Sweden but Joe Hart was on hand to stop his deflected shot. Ashley Young wasted a good chance for England into the side netting while Sweden tried his luck from distance again with Kim Kallstrom going pretty close before half time.

The Swedes pulled back level four minutes after the interval when Mellberg's effort following an Ibrahimovic free kick hit Johnson before rolling into the back of the net. The Swedish team gained momentum and they bagged the second goal shortly, with Mellberg in the spotlight again as the centre back headed home a free kick cross from Larsson. Things could have gotten even worse for England as Ibrahimovic carved another clear cut chance for himself but was yet again stopped by a brave Joe Hart.

Then England started pressing for the equalizer and John Terry nearly got it with a header that was kept out by a brilliant reflex from Isaksson. England's fortunes changed when Theo Walcott was sent in as a substitute. The Arsenal winger netter the equalizer with a long range effort and the match was wide open again.

Kallstrom sent another shot inches away for Sweden before Joe Hart stopping Ibrahimovic one more time. The goal came at the other end though with Walcott bursting into the penalty area before crossing for Welbeck who nested the ball into the back of the net with a glorious back-heel touch.

England join France on four points, one ahead of Ukraine, before the final showdown in Group D. Roy Hodgson's men will need a draw against Ukraine to pull through while France need a similar result against already eliminated Sweden.

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