Two minutes later, referee Michael Oliver (England) almost blew up the match in St Petersburg. Emil Forsberg had already shot the Swedes in front. It was the second fastest goal ever in the European Championship. And when the Swedes advance once, that’s really all. At this European Championship, the Scandinavians finally celebrated the revival of the good old ‘Catenaccio’.
Only once did the Swedish tape show weaknesses in the first half. But then strictly. Robert Lewandowski, goalkeeper and world footballer, headed the crossbar twice in the 18th minute. Including an attempt from less than 2 meters in front of the free gate – an unbelievable sight.
However, the second half provided the best football entertainment. Poland ran, Sweden faded in the counterattack. A substitution by Dejan Kulusevsky (55th minute) would put the Scandinavians on the path to victory. He was on the field for only four minutes when he started a counterattack to make it 2-0 through Forsberg. Kulusevski, of all people, who contracted Covid in a special pre-tournament event and therefore could not have used it in the first two matches.
It was also the 21-year-old Juventus player who played the decisive pass for Victor Claison in stoppage time (90 + 4), who then converted it to 3-2.
In between, the once-secure Swedish defense was alarmingly shaking. Lewandowski brought his colors back into the match shortly after the 2-0 draw with a superb long-range shot (61st minute). It was the first ever goal against Sweden in this European Championship – and it wasn’t the only one. Because: At 84, the 32-year-old managed to equalize. But in the end, that is no longer enough. Also because in the 18th minute Lewandowski did not pass the ball over the line from a very short distance.
So it continues
Sweden plays their last knockout match in Glasgow on June 29 (9pm). The opponent will take third place in the table from Groups A, B, C or D. Spain, who are second in Group E, will face Croatia on June 28 (6 pm) in Copenhagen. Both games can be watched live on SRF.