England survived a nervous end to keep in tact a priceless 3-2 win over Sweden.
Goals from Andy Carroll, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck were just enough to see off Erik Hamren’s men who have now lost two consecutive group matches.
The game was delicately balanced at 2-2 after a Olof Mellberg double, before Danny Welbeck’s acrobatic finish ten minutes from the end.
England started the game the brighter of the two teams and Isaksson was forced into an early save by Scott Parker after Welbeck chested the ball down to him.
Welbeck then nodded a header just wide after getting on the end of a James Milner cross.
Sweden took until the fifteenth minute to really get going, and Ibrahimovic was unlucky to lose control of a Seb Larsson cross. The AC Milan forward then saw a long ranged effort easily kept out by Joe Hart.
England rarely looked troubled though and deservedly took the lead just after 20 minutes. Steven Gerrard sent in a pin-point cross from deep on the right hand side, and the Goliath Andy Carroll rose above everyone else to head home from close range.
The three lions continued to have the lions share of the game and enjoyed a 57-43% margin of possession over their rivals at the half hour mark.
Sweden were limited to just a few half chances as England exercised control over proceedings – Joe Hart collected easily after Ibrahimovic had a shot charged down, and Kallstrom shot over from distance.
Danny Welbeck could have made matters much easier for England just before half time as he was seemingly played through on goal, only to be denied by a last ditch Olof Mellberg tackle.
As the half time whistle blew, Joe Hart had but one save to make and virtually kept a clean pair of gloves.
As the second half commenced, one stark statistic warned England what was to come. Going into the second period, England had won just 6 out of the last 14 European Championship matches after which they had scored first, so it seemed a case of “same old England” when Olof Mellberg did score three minutes in.
Sweden had started the second half in much more promising fashion, though the goal still came against the run of play. Andy Carroll, the hero in the first half, became the villain when he conceded an unnecessary free kick on the edge of the area.
Ibrahimovic cannoned the resulting free kick straight into the England wall but the ball kindly bounced back to him before he volleyd the ball back into the England penalty area for Olof Mellberg to fire home from close range. The ball came off Ashley Cole last as he desperately tried to keep the ball from crossing the line, but it was all in vain.
Sweden knew a defeat would spell the end for them in Euro 2012, and with that in mind they pressed forward for a second. Elm was played through on goal before Glen Johnson denied a certain goal scoring opportunity with a terrific tackle.
Still they pressed, and they reaped their rewards just before the hour mark as Sweden completed the turn around. James Milner gave away a free-kick, and Seb Larsson delivered it from deep for Olof Mellberg, completely unmarked, to head the ball past Joe Hart and in for his second goal in ten minutes.
England were in disarray now, and it suddenly looked as though their Euro 2012 hopes were in jeopardy.
Roy Hodgson responded immediately by pulling Milner off for the more attack minded Theo Walcott. England swarmed forward looking for an equalizer and John Terry thought he had got it on 62 minutes.
Glen Johnson crossed the ball into the box and John Terry, from point blank range, sent a thunderous header at goal. Isaksson was somehow equal to it though and saved superbly for a corner. Just as Sweden thought they had escaped, the resulting corner was cleared only as far as the substitute Walcott who sent a curler straight through the perplexed Swedish goalkeeper.
At first glance it seemed like a deflection but replays showed the ball swerve drastically.
The game was suddenly open now, and the second half was completely alien to the first.
First Ashley Young blazed over from long range, before Olsson teed up Kallstrom who shot just over from the penalty area.
Sweden thought they were back in the lead as Ibrahimovic forced a sublime save out of Hart with a screamer destined for the top corner but for a pair of finger tips.
Danny Welbeck broke Sweden’s hearts though on 77 minutes. Walcott cut in to the right byline and crossed into the penalty area. It seemed to go just behind Welbeck, before he acrobatically hooked his foot round the ball to flick it past the despairing Isaksson.
Sweden had previously been undefeated against England in seven consecutive games, but that record is over now, as is their hopes for tournament progression as they join Ireland in being the first two teams to be eliminated.
England meanwhile are on the verge of qualification and now need just a point against the Ukraine to reach the quarter finals.
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