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PICS: Sweden send Poland home after last-ditch win

June 24, 2021 00:26 IST

Emil Forsberg scores Sweden's first goal during the Euro 2020 Group E match against Poland, at Saint Petersburg stadium, Russia, on Wednesday.

IMAGE: Emil Forsberg scores Sweden's first goal during the Euro 2020 Group E match against Poland, at Saint Petersburg stadium, Russia, on Wednesday. Photograph: Dmitry Lovetsky/Getty Images

Winger Emil Forsberg scored a double, including the second fastest strike in European Championship history, before Viktor Claesson's stoppage-time goal to help Sweden seal a 3-2 win over Poland on Wednesday and top Group E, heading into the last-16.

 

Sweden will next face one of the third-placed sides from Groups B, C or D - Finland, Ukraine or the Czech Republic - in Glasgow on June 29.

Spain, who finished second following their 5-0 win over Slovakia in the other Group E match, face Croatia in Copenhagen a day earlier.

It was a heartbreaking end to Poland's campaign after they twice drew level through talismanic skipper Robert Lewandowski, whose 84th minute equaliser for 2-2 gave them a glimmer of hope.

Robert Lewandowski celebrates pulling a goal back for Poland and reducing the margin to 1-2.

IMAGE: Robert Lewandowski celebrates pulling a goal back for Poland and reducing the margin to 1-2. Photograph: Anton Vaganov/Getty Images

Sweden's previous two matches were built on robust defensive displays that had cast doubts on whether Janne Andersson's side could get their attack firing, but they made a blistering start through the lively Forsberg.

After Robin Quaison controlled the ball on the edge of the penalty area, Forsberg collected a pass and took advantage of some poor defending to fire past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with 82 seconds on the clock.

He doubled their lead with a powerful drive for his third goal of the tournament after substitute Dejan Kulusevski weaved his way into the box to lay it on a platter in the 59th minute.

Lewandowski pulled a goal back two minutes later with a curling shot before Jakub Swierczok's tap-in from substitute Przemyslaw Frankowski's pass was ruled out for offside after the Video Assistant Referee's intervention.

Viktor Claesson scores Sweden's third goal past Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny in added time

IMAGE: Viktor Claesson scores Sweden's third goal past Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny in added time. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Getty Images

Lewandowski, who missed chances to make it 1-1 in the first half after rising above Sweden's defence only to thunder two headers onto the crossbar, fired in the equaliser from close range after a pass from Frankowski.

But Sweden were not done yet, as Kulusevski slipped the ball to Claesson who slotted past Szczesny to secure the win.

"It was a rollercoaster emotionally. It was 2-0 and as calm as it could be, then they got back into the game and got two goals," Claesson told Sweden's TV4.

"From 2-1, there's always pressure there. It's hard to do anything but defend in those situations when they have that kind of momentum. We'll hopefully get a slightly easier opponent in the last 16."

Source: REUTERS
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