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  • Date:19 Jun 2012
  • Kick-off:19:45
  • Venue:Olympic Stadium - Kiev
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (54)
    Sebastian Larsson (91)

Live Commentary


France go through but that was a masisve wake-up call and a warning that they must improve dramatically, because they now face Spain in the quarter-finals. They didn't look willing to put enough effort into the game and looked totally devoid of ideas. Sweden, meanwhile, defended magnificently, created chances through and took two of them in the second half. They were fully deserving winners.


Full-time: Sweden 2-0 France


Sweden break through Wilhelmsson, but he tries to take it round Lloris when he should have passed, and the France goalkeeper robbed him of the ball.


France are rightly going to receive a lot of criticism for both the result and performance tonight. They have been poor in both defence and attack, and in the end have been punished.


Another fine goal. Wilhelmsson broke down the right and pulled a looping cross to the back post, where Holmen volleyed into the ground and on to the bar, but Larsson lashed the rebound into the roof of the net.


Goal! Sweden 2-0 France (Sebastian Larsson)


Clever play from Wilhelmsson, who draws a foul from Debuchy on the Swedish left and therefore both eases pressure and kills time. More frustration for France.


France are now resorting to piling men into the box and hurling crosses in. It's a tactic that's not getting them anywhere, though.


Hope is starting to seep out of the French now, who are completely out of ideas. They surrender possession to Ibrahimovic, who feeds Kallstrom to send a left-foot shot wide.


Chance for Giroud, who heads inexplicably wide from point-blank range with his first touch of the game from a corner on the left. Let-off for Sweden, whose defence for once switched off.


Change for France, who has sent on attacker Olivier Giroud for M'Vila.


Finally France break through Sweden as Malouda plays in Menez, but his shot was scuffed and presented Isaksson with an easy save. That was the most incisive France have been all night.


Sweden have made two changes: Pontus Wernbloom for Svensson and Samuel Holmen for Toivonen. Meanwhile, France have replaced Nasri with Jeremy Menez.


Magnificent defending from Mellberg, who charges down Mexes' close-range shot after a teasing low cross from Nasri.


But then Sweden reform their two dense banks of four on the edge of their own box and let France have the ball.


Sweden go back on the attack down the left through Wilhelmsson, who sends a teasing cross to the back post but it evades everybody. Ibrahimovic might have got a touch to it if he had lunged, but opted not to.


Another chance for France but once again it is from distance, with Malouda this time firing over. France have badly lacked ideas in the final third tonight.


Chance for France as Yann M'Vila takes his turn to shoot from distance with a fine, right-footed effort that Isaksson can only palm to safety.


Anders Svensson has been booked for Sweden now. He also misses the next match.


Benzema surges into the Sweden box but once again his shot is blocked. Sweden have defended superbly all evening.


Yellow card for Mexes for a foul on Toivonen - and he now misses the next match.


Another chance for France as Benzema collects a deep ball into the box and pulls it back for Ribery, but the Bayern Munich man's shot is blocked almost the moment it left his boot. Excellent defending.


Nasri shakes off the pain of his injury to collect a low corner outside the box and send a crisp left-footed shot narrowly wide. Fine effort.


Sweden have lost their momentum now and we're back to France pressing but not being able to break Sweden down. Nasri is now limping for France, so his match could soon be over.


France have gone back on the attack but once again they can't break down Sweden, so Benzema resorts to shooting over the bar from distance.


Substitution for France, who send on Florent Malouda for Ben Arfa.


Group D as it stands: England 7, France 4, Ukraine 3, Sweden 3.


Sweden are buoyant now. From the resulting corner, Mellberg stabbed a shot goalwards that Lloris had to acrobatically tip over the bar. France are all over the place.


And another chance for Sweden as Ibrahimovic plays in Wilhelmsson from the left, but his left-foot shot is saved by Lloris.


Sweden fully deserved that because they had just put together a wonderful sequence of play that had earlier seen Larsson draw a smart save from Lloris with a back-post volley. Wilhelmsson has had a big impact for them.


Fantastic goal! Ibrahimovic finds the bottom corner with a flying volley from 15 yards out after a cross from the right wing. That's a contender for goal of the tournament.


Goal! Sweden 1-0 France (Zlatan Ibrahimovic)


France look more purposeful in this second half and Alou Diarra has just let a rasping shot fly from 25 yards, but Isaksson was right behind it.


Chance for France as Benzema cuts in from the left and curls a right-footed shot from the edge of the box wide. France need to score if they are to avoid Spain in the quarter-finals.


England have scored against Ukraine through Wayne Rooney, which means England currently top the group, with France second. Group D as it stands: England 7, France 5, Ukraine 3, Sweden 1.


Sweden get the second half under way and immediately Wilhelmsson is played through on goal, rounds the goalkeeper and is about to shoot, but is then pulled up by the referee's whistle for offside.


Disappointing game so far. France are playing poorly - lacking ideas and energy - but Sweden simply don't have the quality and cutting edge to punish them. They're well organised and are defending well, though, so deserve credit.


Half-time: Sweden 0-0 France


Better chance for France as Ribery slaloms in from the left and shoots right-footed from the edge of the box, but Olof Mellberg got a touch to the ball to deflect it wide. Good defending.


Benzema gets fed up of trying to penetrate the Swedish defence and so goes for goal 30 yards out, but not surprisingly his effort rolls harmlessly wide of goal. France are looking frustrated.


Nasri is back on for France, but straight away they try to play it long and surrender possession. This is the worst France have played in the tournament so far by some distance.


Samir Nasri is down receiving treatment after being on the end of a heavy challenge from Kallstrom.


Chance for France as the ball falls generously to Ribery, who tries to slip in Benzema but overhits his through-ball and the opportunity is spurned.


But Ben Arfa hits back for France with a left-foot shot from 25 yards that flew only narrowly over.


Sweden now get in behind the French defence on the right wing but Emir Bajrami has his low cross cut out. France are living dangerously here.


Scare for France as a cross from the Swedish left deflects into the path of Toivonen, but the striker was quickly dispossessed by Lloris and was offside anyway.


France have taken back control of possession, but they are being met with a yellow wall whenever they get to the edge of the Swedish box and are so far struggling to break through it. They then switch it to the wings and cross, but the Swedish defence has a considerable height advantage and are repeatedly clearing the danger.


France seem to be lacking urgency here, almost as if they don't want to burn too much energy or risk injury. But other than Ibrahimovic, Sweden just don't have the quality to punish them.


France get a free-kick more than 35 yards out, but Adil Rami fancies his chances and goes for goal, only to balloon his effort well over.


Sweden are finally enjoying a decent spell of possession, aided by the French midfield standing off them and allowing them space to play the ball around. A more penetrating and clinical team than Sweden might have created more clear-cut chances by now.


Sweden respond, though, and Jonas Olsson heads a deep cross to the right channel into the path of Larsson, but his half-volley was always rising over.


But then France sweep down the left flank with Ribery, who crosses for Benzema on the edge of the box, but the Real Madrid striker's first-time shot is well over.


Sweden are starting to battle back in midfield, pressing and tackling much more aggressvely, but are struggling to retain possession at the moment, let alone create chances.


France are building pressure on the Swedes now, playing the ball patiently around the final third and looking to expose gaps.


Massive let-off for France as Philippe Mexes makes a mess of a long ball forward from the Swedish defence, allowing Toivonen in on goal. The PSV striker rounded Lloris but his shot from an angle hit the outside of the post.


France have recovered from conceding those early chances and are now back on top. Ben Arfa has just sent a speculative left-footed shot from 22 yards over.


Great chance for France as some sloppy defending from Sweden, combined with persistence from Benzema, presents Franck Ribery with the chance to shoot from the left channel, but his low effort was saved by Andreas Isaksson.


Now France get in behind Sweden on the right flank, but Mathieu Debuchy's cross is cut out before the neat post. Karim Benzema then fed Hatem Ben Arfa in the left channel but his left-foot shot from the corner of the box was off target.


Another chance for Sweden and it's an exact replica of the first, with Kim Kallstron this time crossing from the left for Sebastian Larsson to head goalwards, only for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to save.


Great chance for Sweden as Martin Olsson hoists in a cross from the left towards Ola Toivonen, but his looping header was wide. The French defence was sleeping.


France kicked off and have had the ball ever since. They looked composed in possession already.


And we're under way, with France in their changed strip of all white, with Sweden in their traditional yellow.

Kick-off is being put back slightly for a minute's silence for the late French commentator, Thierry Rolland.

The national anthems have been sung and so we're ready to get started.

The teams are in the tunnel, so kick-off is just moments away now.

Sweden may already have their bags packed ready for departure home, but are determined not to go out without a fight. Manager Erik Hamren said: "The players are frustrated because we haven't got the results we wanted. I feel myself, and I can see this in the players, a motivation to be better. We don't have anything to lose and can go out there and perform."

And this is the Sweden team: (4-4-2) Isaksson; Granqvist, Mellberg, Jonas Olsson, Martin Olsson; Larsson, Svensson, Kallstrom, Bajrami; Ibrahimovic, Toivonen. Subs: Wiland, Lustig, Elm, Elmander, Hysen, Antonsson, Wernbloom, Safari, Holmen, Wilhelmsson, Rosenberg, Hansson.

Here's how the French will line up: (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Debuchy, Rami, Mexes, Clichy; Diarra, M'Vila; Ben Arfa, Nasri, Ribery; Benzema. Subs: Mandanda, Evra, Cabaye, Valbuena, Giroud, Matuidi, Reveillere, Menez, Malouda, Martin, Koscielny, Carrasso.

France have made two changes to the team that beat Ukraine, with their two goalscorers on that night, Jeremy Menez and Yohan Cabaye, being replaced with Yann M'Vila and Hatem Ben Arfa. Sweden also make two changes, with Ola Toivonen and Emir Bajrami coming in for Johan Elmander and Rasmus Elm.

France can only be eliminated tonight if they lose heavily and England lose as well by a significantly lesser margin. But that looks unlikely to happen for two reasons: first, France go into the game on the back of a 23-match unbeaten run, which is the current longest in world football; and second, Sweden have lost their last four European Championship finals matches.

Welcome along to our coverage of France's Group D finale against Sweden in Kiev. Laurent Blanc's side currently top the group on goal difference from England, having drawn with Roy Hodgson's men 1-1 in their opener and then beaten co-hosts Ukraine 2-0 on Friday, and need only a draw tonight to confirm their place in the quarter-finals. Sweden are already out after losing both their opening games.

Sweden are making a change, replacing Bajrami with Christian Wilhelmsson.

The teams are back out, so the start of the second half is just moments away.

Final Group D standings: England 7, France 4, Sweden 3, Ukraine 3.

**Provisional teams until kick-off


  • Erik Hamren Coach
  • Andreas Isaksson Goal
  • Andreas Granqvist Defender
  • Olof Mellberg Defender
  • Jonas Olsson Defender
  • Martin Olsson Defender
  • Sebastian Larsson Midfielder
  • Anders Svensson Midfielder
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic Midfielder
  • Kim Källström Midfielder
  • Emir Bajrami Midfielder
  • Ola Toivonen Forward
  • Johan Wiland Substitute
  • Par Hansson Substitute
  • Mikael Lustig Substitute
  • Rasmus Elm Substitute
  • Johan Elmander Substitute
  • Tobias Hysén Substitute
  • Mikael Antonsson Substitute
  • Behrang Safari Substitute
  • Markus Rosenberg Substitute
  • Christian Wilhelmsson
  • Pontus Wernbloom
  • Samuel Holmén


  • Laurent Blanc Coach
  • Hugo Lloris Goal
  • Matthieu Debuchy Defender
  • Adil Rami Defender
  • Philippe Mexes Defender
  • Gael Clichy Defender
  • Samir Nasri Midfielder
  • Alou Diarra Midfielder
  • Yann Mvila Midfielder
  • Hatem Ben Arfa Forward
  • Karim Benzema Forward
  • Franck Ribery Forward
  • Steve Mandanda Substitute
  • Cedric Carrasso Substitute
  • Patrice Evra Substitute
  • Yohan Cabaye Substitute
  • Mathieu Valbuena Substitute
  • Blaise Matuidi Substitute
  • Anthony Reveillere Substitute
  • Marvin Martin Substitute
  • Laurent Koscielny Substitute
  • Florent Malouda Substitute who played
  • Jeremy Menez Substitute who played
  • Olivier Giroud Substitute who played

Match Report

France through but only after Swedish lesson
France qualified for the knockout stages of a major finals for the first time in six years on Tuesday despite losing their final Group D match 2-0 to already eliminated Sweden.
A brilliant bicycle kick by Sweden's inspirational captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 54th minute gave them the lead with the outstanding Sebastian Larsson adding a second in the final minute of normal time.
It handed the Swedes not only their first points of the group stage but also their first win over France in almost 43 years dating back to October 1969.
The French, who also saw their 23-match unbeaten run ended, progress in second place in the group after England beat co-hosts Ukraine 1-0 in the other game to finish top.
France - who last reached the knockout stages of a major finals in the 2006 World Cup - will play champions Spain in the last eight.
The Swedes should have gone ahead in the eighth minute as Ola Toivonen - who had replaced the injured Johan Elmander up front - was played onside and with only Hugo Lloris to beat. However, although he rounded the goalkeeper he found the angle too tight and his shot hit the post.
The French pressed from the start of the second-half with Karim Benzema finding some space and curling the ball just past the far post.
However, instead of sparking the French into some urgency it prompted the Swedes into their best period of play with Lloris pulling off one fine save in the 53rd minute.
A minute later he was unable to do anything about Ibrahimovic's stunning bicycle kick from Larsson's superb cross -- Ibrahimovic in typical celebratory style standing stock still and raising his hands pointing a finger of each hand at the sky.
France were wilting in the heat of the night and would have been 2-0 down minutes later but Olof Mellberg's header was tipped over the bar in extremis by Lloris.
Another of the Swedish veterans Christian Wilhelmsson - like Mellberg expected to retire from international football after this match - then went close himself but his shot too was turned away for a corner.
The French were defending with increasing desperation and it was no surprise that central defender Philippe Mexes picked up a booking for an overly physical challenge that rules him out of the quarter-final.
The Swedes pace slowed, though, and France began to have the lions share of possession which almsot bore fruit when Yann M'Vila - who had earned his first start of the tournament having recovered from an ankle injury - switched neatly from his left to right foot and fired a fierce shot just wide of the target.
Blanc decided to send on Jeremy Menez, one of the goalscorers from the 2-0 win over Ukraine, and it almost paid off as he managed to break free in the box - but his effort was bundled away for a corner.
Fellow substitute Oliver Giroud should have done better from the corner as he rose unmarked but his header went over the bar - and instead it was to be the Swedes who deservedly wrapped up victory through Larsson.





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