Sweden stuns Paraguay two minutes from time in Group B
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Sweden beat Paraguay with a last minute goal that sent the South Americans out of the World Cup in the Olympiastadion, Berlin, Thursday.
The result meant Sweden needed at least a draw in their next match with England to get into the knock-out phase ahead of Trinidad and Tobago.
The match was played at a fast pace as both teams wanted a win from the game. What it lacked in flair it made up for in enthralling passion. There were eight yellow cards in this cut and thrust encounter which Sweden edged on the shot counter 17:16.
In the end what decided the match was Sweden's speed and ability to get behind Paraguay's defence and shoot from inside the penalty area. Rarely did Paraguay do this. Sweden's captain and centre-back Olof Mellberg had a strong game and may be the reason Andreas Isaksson had only three saves.
Lars Lagerback's half-time decision to take off Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Marcus Allback also seemed to tilt the outcome of the game in Sweden's favour. The striker combined well with Freddie Ljungberg.
Allback frequently got in good attacking positions and stretched Paraguay's defence to breaking point. But for 43 minutes, after successive near misses it seemed like Paraguay would just contain the Sweden strikers.
On 59 minutes Allback ran clear of the Paraguay defence to receive a bouncing ball; he lobbed Aldo Bobadilla and ran around him for the tap in. Unfortunately for Sweden the thing that hit the net was Paraguay's Denis Caniza; who had run at full speed to clear the ball just before Allback got there.
Allback then had another chance, set up by Larson on the six-yard box. As he swiveled, with the defender behind him, the goal keeper guessed where he was going to shoot.
The pace of the game did not relent and the creative movement of the Swedish attacks began to leave Anibal Ruiz's Paraguayans behind. Freddie Ljungberg found more space down the left and was also able to roam across to the right.
When a long ball reached Allback to the left of goal the striker headed across goal. Ljungberg ran in from the right and headed it back across the goalkeeper; one bounce and in.
Bobadilla made 9 saves in the match but this one was a finger tip too far. Sweden after a disappointing scoreless match against Trinidad and Tobago hung on to their World Cup hopes and look set to qualify from the group together with England.
|June 15, 2006|
- 01 A Isaksson
- 04 T Lucic 48'
- 03 O Mellberg
- 06 T Linderoth 14'
- 05 E Edman
- 09 F Ljungberg
- 07 N Alexandersson
- 16 K Kallstrom (Substituted: 86' J Elmander)
- 21 C Wilhelmsson (Substituted: 68' M Jonson)
- 10 Z Ibrahimovic (Substituted: 45' M Allback 60' )
- 11 H Larsson
|Trinidad and Tobago||1||2||0||1||1||0||2||-2|
Fifa World Cup Group B table June 15, 2006
- "Sweden 1-0 Paraguay" — , June 15, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 15, 2006
- This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.
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