Sweden score late against England for 2-2 draw in Group B
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Sweden came from behind twice to hold England to an eventful if scrappy 2-2 draw in Cologne, Tuesday.
Seconds from time England looked likely to win against a team they had not beaten since 1968. But a long throw from the Swedish left was missed by Sol Campbell and Henrik Larson got a touch that crawled into the far corner of Paul Robinson's net.
For England, who needed at least a draw to top Group B and play Ecuador in the round of sixteen, the drama began after two minutes. Striker Michael Owen fell to the floor unchallenged apparently badly injured. Owen rolled off the pitch and was substituted with Peter Crouch. Later it was confirmed Owen returned to England and would not play again at the 2006 World Cup.
Sweden pressured an unsettled England early on with aerial balls, from corners especially; these tactics would provide two goals in the second half for the Scandinavians.
England had 55 per cent of ball play in the game and were most dominant before half time.
Sven-Göran Eriksson's side had the lead on 33 minutes. Joe Cole on England's left took a clearance on his chest 35 yards from goal. Cole volleyed the ball first time on a high dipping trajectory and a scrambling Andreas Isaksson could only paddle it in off the post.
Joe Cole created the second goal for Steven Gerrard on 85 minutes with a chip to the far post that Gerrard headed powerfully on target. Joe Cole also earned seven fouls for his side, two of which got Swedish players cautioned.
Joe Cole aside, Sven-Göran Eriksson's England might have been fortunate to had gone one goal up with five minutes to go as Sweden had many chances in the second half.
The chance Sweden converted to make it 1-1 came on 51 minutes from one of Sweden's 12 corner kicks. Marcus Allbäck, standing on the left edge of the six yard box, flicked Tobias Linderoth's cross with his head and it looped behind him over the defence and in the net.
An almost identical corner brought a reaction save on to the crossbar from England's Robinson. Sweden captain Olof Melberg then hit the crossbar with an effort. From yet another dangerous Linderoth corner Gerrard cleared the ball off the England goalline.
Given the Swedish pressure the last minute equaliser perhaps created a fair reflection of the game. It also seemed to expose in the Group B winners a weakness defending high balls. Sweden play the winner of Group A, Germany, in the next phase of the Fifa World Cup.
|June 20, 2006|
|J. Cole 34' |
- 01 A Isaksson
- 04 T Lucic
- 03 O Mellberg
- 05 E Edman
- 07 N Alexandersson 83'
- 06 T Linderoth (Substitute: 90' D Andersson)
- 16 K Kallstrom
- 09 F Ljungberg 87'
- 18 M Jonson (Substitute: 54' C Wilhelmsson)
- 11 H Larsson
- 20 M Allback (Substitute: 74' J Elmander)
|Trinidad and Tobago||1||3||0||1||2||0||4||−4|
Fifa World Cup Group B table June 20, 2006
- "Sweden 2-2 England" — , June 20, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 20, 2006
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