Sweden beat Italy 1-0 on aggregate in the playoffs to secure their spot in the 2018 World Cup

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Sweden World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide

Sweden have been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup.


Sweden vs England – Quarter Final 7th July – Samara – Match Report

Match preview here.

England Starting XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Kyle Walker, 5 John Stones, 6 Harry Maguire, 7 Jesse Lingard, 8 Jordan Henderson (4 Eric Dier 85), 9 Harry Kane, 10 Raheem Sterling (19 Marcus Rashford 90+1), 12 Kieran Trippier, 18 Ashley Young, 20 Dele Alli (17 Fabian Delph 76)

Sweden Starting XI: 1 Robin Olsen, 3 Victor Lindelof, 4 Andreas Granqvist, 6 Ludwig Augustinsson, 7 Sebastian Larsson, 8 Albin Ekdal, 9 Marcus Berg, 10 Emil Forsberg (5 Martin Olsson 65), 16 Emil Krafth (18 Pontus Janssen 85), 17 Viktor Claesson, 20 Ola Toivonen (11 John Guidetti 65)

Samara

Sweden 0 England 2

Scorers

England: Maguire 30, Alli 59

Match overview

Goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli sent England into their first semi-final since 1990 after seeing off Sweden in Samara.

After slow start, when Sweden were happy to play at a reduced pace, England upped the tempo and after half an hour won their first corner, from which Maguire scored.

Raheem Sterling twice had excellent chances to extend the lead before half-time, but was denied by an excellent save from Robin Olsen

England extended their lead after the break through Alli and Sweden were denied a route back into the game by a series of outstanding saves by Jordan Pickford, from Viktor Claesson and Marcus Berg (twice).

Matter of fact

England’s opening goal by Harry Maguire was the eighth set-piece they have scored in Russia.

Talking point

Dele Alli had been criticised for his earlier performances and appeared to be short of fitness. But he answered his critics by scoring the goal that sealed England’s place in the semi-final.

Stats

Sweden England

Possession (%): 43/57

Goal attempts: 7/12

Attempts on target: 3/4

Corners: 1/6

Fouls: 10/7

Pass accuracy (%): 74/80

Distance covered (km): 107/110


Sweden vs Switzerland – Round of 16 (3rd July) Match Report

Match preview here. 

Sweden Starting XI: 1 Robin Olsen, 2 Mikael Lustig (16 Emil Krafth 82, 3 Victor Lindelof, 4 Andreas Granqvist, 6 Ludwig Augustinsson, 8 Albin Ekdal, 9 Marcus Berg (22 Isaac Kiese Thelin 90),10 Emil Forsburg (5 Martin Olsson 82), 13 Gustav Svensson, 17 Viktor Claesson, 20 Ola Toivonen

Switzerland Starting XI: 1 Yann Sommer, 5 Manuel Akanji, 6 Michael Lang, 10 Granit Xhaka, 11 Valon Behrami, 13 Ricardo Rodriguez, 14 Steven Zuber (7 Breel Embolo 73), 15 Blerim Dzemaili (9 Haris Seferovic 73), 19 Josip Drmic, 20 Yohan Djourou, 23 Xherdan Shaqiri

St Petersburg

Sweden 1 Switzerland 0

Scorer

Sweden: Forsberg 67

Match overview

Sweden reached the quarter-final for the first time since 1994 in match that featured lots of endeavour and defensive discipline but little goalmouth sparkle.

Both teams were guilty of missing chances. Marcus Berg and Albin Ekdal were profligate for Sweden while Blerim Dzemaili put Switzerland’s best chance wide.

With defences on top, it needed a stroke of luck for either side to make the breakthrough. It came midway through the second half when Emil Forsberg’s speculative shot took a heavy deflection for the only goal of the game.

Haris Seferovic saw a late header saved by Yann Sommer but as the Swiss pushed for an equaliser Sweden broke away and almost scored a second in stoppage time. Michael Lang was sent off for his push on Martin Olsson but VAR ruled out a penalty.

Emil Forsberg scores after a lucky deflection off Manuel Akanji (Getty Images)

Matter of fact

Switzerland once again failed to score as they repeated their round-of-16 defeats of 1994, 2006 and 2014.

Talking point

Although Switzerland had the technically superior players, Sweden showed a collective will to win when it mattered most.

Stats

Sweden/Switzerland

Possession (%): 37/63

Goal attempts: 12/18

Attempts on target: 6/5

Corners: 3/11

Fouls: 11/13

Pass accuracy (%): 73/83

Distance covered (km): 105/103


Sweden vs Mexico (27th June) Match Report

Match preview here. 

Sweden Starting XI: 1 Robin Olsen, 2 Mikael Lustig, 3 Victor Lindelof, 4 Andreas Granqvist, 6 Ludwig Augustinsson, 7 Sebastian Larsson (13 Gustav Svensson 50), 8 Albin Ekdal (15 Oscar Hiljemark 80), 9 Marcus Berg (22 Isaac Thelin 68), 10 Emil Forsberg, 17 Viktor Claesson, 20 Ola Toivonen

Mexico Starting XI: 12 Guillermo Ochoa, 3 Carlos Salcedo, 7 Miguel Layun (19 Oribe Peralta), 11 Carlos Vela, 14 Javier Hernandez, 15 Hector Moreno, 16 Hector Herrera, 18 Andres Guardado (17 Jesus Corona 75), 21 Edson Alvarez,22 Hirving Lozano, 23 Jesus Gallardo (8 Marco Fabian 65)

Yekaterinburg

Mexico 0 Sweden 3

Scorers
Mexico: none

Sweden:  Augustinsson 50, Granqvist 61pen, Alvarez 74og

Match overview

Sweden, outsiders going into the final round of matches, reached the knockout phase as group winners after a convincing win over Mexico, who also made the last 16 following Germany’s shock defeat to South Korea.

Sweden could have been 2-0 up half-time, but Gulliermo Ochoa saved well from Marcus Berg, while Javier Hernandez’s handball in his own area was controversially rejected by a VAR review.

After the break, Mexico were talen apart on the counter attack before conceding from a penalty and an own goal.

Matter of fact

Mexico left-back Jesus Gallardo was booked after 15 seconds, a World Cup record.

Talking point

Mexico were unchanged from the victory over South Korea, when only one change had been made from the opening defeat of Germany. The Mexicans appeared tired by their earlier exertions and were no match for Sweden’s physicality and aerial power.

Stats

Mexico/Sweden

Possession (%): 65/35

Goal attempts: 19/13

Attempts on target: 8/7

Corners: 7/3

Fouls: 14/11

Pass accuracy (%): 82/67

Distance covered (km): 95/102


Sweden vs Germany (23rd June) Match Report

Match preview here

Germany Starting XI: 1 Manuel Neuer, 3 Jonas Hector (20 Julian Brandt 87), 7 Julian Draxler (23 Mario Gomez 46), 8 Toni Kroos, 9 Timo Werner, 1 Marco Reus, 12 Thomas Muller, 16 Antonio Rudiger, 17 Jerome Boateng, 18 Joshua Kimmich, 19 Sebastian Rudy (21 Ilkay Gundogan 31)

Sweden Starting XI: 1 Robin Olsen, 2 Mikael Lustig, 3 Victor Lindelof, 4 Andreas Granqvist, 6 Ludwig Augustinsson, 7 Sebastian Larsson, 8 Albin Ekdal, 9 Marcus Berg (22 Isaac Thelin 90), 10 Emil Forsberg, 17 Viktor Claesson (21 Jimmy Durmaz 74), 20 Ola Toivonen (11 John Guidetti 78)

Sochi

Germany 2 Sweden 1

Scorers:

Germany: Reus 48, Kroos 90+5

Sweden: Toivonen 32

Match overview

Toni Kroos kept Germany’s World Cup campaign alive in dramatic style with a blistering free-kick that won the game in the final seconds of stoppage time.

Germany boss Joachim Low made changes to his starting line-up, dropping Mesut Ozil and bringing in Marco Reus, and he shook things up at half-time, bringing on an extra striker after Sweden had taken the lead through Ola Toivonen and could have gone further ahead with a series of counter-attacks. Reus equalised early in the second half but Germany missed a host of chances to grab the winner and saw Jerome Boateng sent off. Sweden looked to have clung on for a point when Julian Brandt was fouled on the left hand flank with seconds remaining. Kroos, who had given the ball away for Sweden’s goal, stepped up to dispatch an unstoppable last-gasp shot into the far corner.

Talking point

Sweden had strong claims for a penalty in the first half when Jerome Boateng pushed Marcus Berg as the Swedish striker on goal, but there was no VAT intervention. Boateng should have gone for the foul on Berg, but he eventually departed following a second yellow.

Stats

Germany/Sweden

Possession (%): 71/29

Goal attempts: 16/8

Attempts on target: 4/1

Corners: 8/3

Fouls: 12/13

Pass accuracy (%): 91/77

Distance covered (km): 111/110


Sweden vs South Korea (18th June) Match Report

Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden are in a World Cup without a recognised superstar. They face South Korea later today. Match preview here

Sweden Starting XI: 1 Robin Olsen, 2 Mikael Lustig, 4 Andreas Granqvist, 6 Ludwig Augustinsson, 7 Sebastian Larsson (13 Gustav Svensson 81) , 8 Albin Ekdal (15 Oscar Hijlemark 71), 9 Marcus Berg, 10 Emil Forsberg, 17 Viktor Claesson, 18 Pontus Jansson, 20 Ola Toivonen (22 Isaac Kiese Thelin 77)

South Korea Starting XI: 23 Cho Hyun-woo, 2 Lee Yong, 6 Park Joo-ho (12 Kim Min-woo 28), 7 Son Heung-min, 9 Kim Shin-wook (15 Jung Woo-young 66), 11 Hwang Hee-chan, 13 Koo Ja-cheol (10 Lee Seung-woo 73), 16 Ki Sung-yueng, 17 Lee Jae-sung, 19 Kim Young-gwon, 20 Jang Hyun-soo

Niznhy Novgorod

Sweden 1 South Korea 0

Scorers

Sweden: Granqvist 65pen

South Korea: none

Match overview

Sweden won their opening game for the first time since 1958 after edging out South Korea thanks to Andreas Granqvist’s VAR-awarded penalty in the second half.

The Swedes had fashioned the better chances in the first half but lacked a cutting edge as they tried to find a way past Korea’s third-choice keeper Cho Hyun-woo. 

Granqvist, the Swedish captain, dispatched the spot-kick in confident fashion and it was fitting that a defender scored the only goal of such a tight game.

Young substitute Lee Seung-woo gave Korea a lift in the final quarter but they failed to unlock a Swedish defence that was missing Victor Lindelof, a late withdrawal with a virus

Matter of fact

This was the 100th World Cup match featuring an Asian side. 

Talking point

VAR was used to award the game’s only goal. The referee had a clear view of what was an obvious penalty, prompting suggestions and concerns that he had ducked out of the decision, preferring to rely on the VAR calling back the decision.  

Stats

Sweden/South Korea

Possession (%): 52/48

Goal attempts: 15/5

Attempts on target: 5/2

Corners: 6/5

Fouls: 20/23

Pass accuracy (%): 84/78

Distance covered (km): 102/103


Sweden World Cup Guide 

Amid all the euphoria of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup due to their remarkable play-off victory over Italy, it should not be forgotten how impressive Sweden were in the group phase, pipping Holland to the runners-up spot, beating France in Solna and being undefeated at home. Under coach Janne Andersson, they are first and foremost a highly effective defensive unit. The proof? Their seven clean sheets.

Key Moments in Qualifying

Jun 2016
The inimitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic retires from international football. After years of everything revolving around their talismanic superstar, coach Andersson has no other option but to cultivate a greater team ethic.
Sep 2016
Sweden’s solidity and flair for a counter-attack is there for all to see in a 1-1 draw at home to Holland in the opening qualifier. The Dutch enjoyed the bulk of possession, completed twice as many passes and had far more shots on goal, yet still they could not force the win.
Jun 2017
Fighting back from a goal down, they come of age in beating France 2-1. The injury-time winner is scored by striker Ola Toivonen, who plays in France for Toulouse.
Nov 2017
Deploying the sort of catenaccio tactics that Italian sides used to be famous for, Sweden overcome the Azzurri in the play-offs to reach the finals for the first time since 2006.

Sweden World Cup Group

Sweden are the third team in Group F, alongside Germany, Mexico, and South Korea.

Sweden World Cup Friendlies

On the 24th of March Sweden lost to Chile, and then lost to Romania a few days later. A Scandinavian battle with Christian Eriksen and Denmark is on the 2nd of June, and resulted in a 0-0 draw. Finally they welcome Peru a week later on the 9th.

  • 24th March – Chile (lost 2-1)
  • 28th March – Romania (lost 1-0)
  • 2nd June – Denmark (drew 0-0)
  • 9th June – Peru (drew 0-0)

Sweden World Cup Fixtures

Sweden open their World Cup account against South Korea on the 18th of June. Followed by Germany five days later and Mexico four days after that.

The Coach

Janne Andersson, age 55 (20.09.62)
Appointed in June 2016 on a three-year contract, he was brought in to replace Eric Hamren at the end of Sweden’s Euro 2016 campaign. He began his coaching career at fourth-tier Alets IK, then took charge at Laholms FK, Halmstads, Orgryte and Norrkoping, leading the latter to the 2015 Swedish title.

2016: Andersson was appointed in 2016 on a three-year deal (Getty Images)

The Players
Star
Attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg is by far the team’s most imaginative element, nominally lining up on the left side but constantly looking to cut inside.
Stalwarts
Back-four organiser and skipper Andreas Granqvist has been a national-team warrior for a decade. Ola Toivonen’s flair can produce game-changing moments.
Missing
Scorer of the winning goal against Italy, Jakob Johansson damaged cruciate ligaments in the second leg and could be a doubt for the finals.
Debuts
Defensive midfielder Alexander Fransson made his competitive bow in the 1-1 draw with Holland, while striker Samuel Armenteros was handed a short cameo in the 3-2 loss to Bulgaria.

Sweden World Cup Squad

Final World Cup Squad – 

GOALKEEPERS: Robin Olsen (Copenhagen), Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea).

DEFENDERS: Mikael Lustig (Celtic), Victor Lindelof (Manchester United), Andreas Granqvist (Krasnador), Martin Olsson (Swansea), Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), Filip Helander, Emil Krafth (both Bologna), Pontus Jansson (Leeds United).

MIDFIELDERS: Sebastian Larsson (Hull), Albin Ekdal (Hamburg), Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig), Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders), Oscar Hiljemark (Genoa), Viktor Claesson (Krasnador), Marcus Rohden (Crotone), Jimmy Durmaz (Toulouse).

FORWARDS: Marcus Berg (Al Ain), John Guidetti (Alaves), Ola Toivonen (Toulouse), Isaac Kiese Thelin (Waasland-Beveren).

Sweden World Cup Injuries

We will update you with all the injuries regularly.

Creative: Forsberg is the brain of the Swedish attack (Getty Images)

The Unanswered Questions

Would Janne Andersson ever be tempted with a back three?
Hell might freeze over first. A 4-4-2 system is embedded within the soul of the Swedes. It’s the system in which they feel the most comfortable and secure.

Is there a risk of first-choice striker Marcus Berg becoming rusty now that he no longer plays his club football in Europe?
Despite moving from Panathinaikos to Al Ain in the UAE in the summer he was impressive against Italy. Andersson loves the front-line blend of Berg and Toivonen, with the former as the forward threat and the latter more likely to come deeper.

comeback: Could we be seeing Zlatan comeback for 2018? It is unlikely (Getty Images)

 

Which players could make a late charge for the squad?
Promising centre-forward Kerim Mrabti has a number of backers, while midfielder Kristoffer Olsson is pushing hard, as is winger Sam Larsson.

If Emil Forsberg was injured, could Sweden cope?
No one else is available with his speed and eye for a killer through ball. The only alternative would be Sam Larsson.

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