England managed to beat Sweden for the first time ever in a competitive match tonight in Kiev, but it turned out to be very difficult.
Andy Carroll soars high to brilliantly head home England’s opening goal
The first half went England’s way and it was a terrific headed goal from Andy Carroll from a Steven Gerrard cross after about 21 minutes, that put England deservedly into the lead, which they maintained until half-time.
But we’re not sure what happened at half time, as England came out in the second half and seemed to cede possession to Sweden, and went immediately onto the back foot.
Sweden scored after 50 minutes, and it was a poor goal to concede, as a Mellberg was completely unmarked in the penalty area, following an Ibrahimovic free kick, and his shot was deflected into the England net by Johnson – and it given as an own goal.
Olof Mellburg puts Sweden ahead following a Larsson free-kick
Then on 57 minutes it was Melberg again, and the 34 year-old former Aston Villa center-back headed the ball in the net from a good free-kick from Sunderland’s Sebastian Larsson out on the left wing, and England were surprisingly 2-1 down.
England had managed to put all their good work in the first half disastrously to waste in the first 15 minutes of the second half and were now 2-1 down.
On 60 minutes a tired James Milner was replaced by Theo Walcott and the Arsenal winger made a difference immediately, as he rifled the ball into the net from 25 yards out to make it 2-2 – and it was a goal out of nothing from the Arsenal winger.
Theo Walcott scores England’s second goal out of nothing
And then after 77 minutes, it was Theo again who made a great run down the right wing, and he crossed the ball, and somehow Danny Welbeck, with his back to the goal, back-heeled the ball into the net – a great goal that was worked by the two Englishmen, and England were 3-2 ahead.
Both sides had chances after that, but we have to give credit to this England team who came fighting back, when all seemed lost in the second half, as it had looked so easy in those first 45 minutes.
But England got the win, and while the performance in the second half was often dodgy and disorganized, especially in defense, the result was all important and now a draw against the Ukraine in the third and final group game, will see England into the knock-out rounds.
Here’s the game – as we saw it in real time and with all out frustrations in the second period.
England were wearing their navy blur and blue strips and Sweden were in their traditional yellow.
After 8 minutes former Newcastle captain Scott Parker had a good shot that was well save by goalkeeper Isaksson.
Then on 15 minutes former Newcastle winger James Milner put in a good cross but Danny Welbeck headed the ball wide – but that was England’s strategy to put high balls into the box as Sweden were poor in defending them.
Then Zlatan Ibrahimovi put in an excellent snap shot that Joe Hart saved well, to show he is a dangerous striker and somebody that must be watched in this game..
And then it happened midway through the first half, as Steven Gerrard stopped the ball from going out on the right touch line and then put in an inch perfect cross to Andy Carroll, who soared soared high to head into the net in great style – a great goal from the Gateshead lad – and exactly what Roy Hodgson wanted to see.
Bugt then as is sometimes the case with England they seemed to go into their shell after the goal and Sweden got a lot more of the ball, and on 33 minutes another good Ibrahimovic shot was saved by Hart, who looked confident in the England goal.
On 36 minutes Young was straight through on the left wing, but he elected to shoot, and the shot was weak and wide, with Andy Carroll wide open in the middle, poor and selfish play from Young, who doesn’t look to be in top form.
On 37 minutes Kalstrom had a decent shot, but it went over the bar, and then Hart beat former Bolton striker Elmander to a good through ball.
Half time came and England were ahead on merit by 1-0, but England need more goals, and mustn’t just try to hang on in the second half, as they so often do.
Steven Gerrard was England’s best player in the first half and he was controlling the midfield for for England.
England started the second half on the back foot and they seemed to be ceding possession to Sweden and after 49 minutes Andy Carroll committed a foul on the edge of the penalty area.
Ibrahimovic hit the free kick and the ball bounced to an unmarked Swedish player and the shot was half saved by Joe Hart, but the ball ricocheted off Johnson into the net – a terrible goal for England to concede – and it came from England going on the back foot at the start of the second half.
It was given as an own goal from Johnson.
After 57 minutes Sweden were picking up all the loose balls and heavens know what’s happened to the England team.
Ans again England conceded as a Larssen free kick high into the area was headed into the net by Olof Mellberg, and he was completely unmarked, and Sweden were out fighting the England team and went ahead, on merit.
For some reason England players don’t play anywhere near their potential in these important Championship tournaments – why is that?
Theo Walcott came on for James Milner after 60 minutes, as ti didn’t look good for England.
On 63 minutes Swedish goalkeeper Isaksson made an unbelievable save from a close-in John Terry header, and the ball went over the bar for a corner – it was the save of the tournament so far.
And then from the resultant corner the ball went out to Theo Walcott, who smashed the ball home from 25 yards out in great style, and it was a goal out of nothing from the Arsenal winger.
On 69 minutes it was Andy Carroll who hit a good right foot shot just over the bar from 25 yards out, and the game was end to end as both sides were going for the 3 points.
Martin Olsson of Blackburn then beat two English defenders down the left wing, and he put in a good ball that Kalstrom hit over the bar, and the Lyon midfielder really should have done better.
Ibrahimovic then put in a great shot which brought a terrifc save from Joe Hart after 77 minutes – Joe saved England there.
And would you believe it, Danny Welbeck put England ahead after a great run down the right wing from Theo Walcott, and Theo put the ball across and Danny, with his back to the goal, put the ball into the back of the net somehow - a great combination goal from Walcott and Welbeck.
Then Welbeck had a decent chance to get England 4th goal, as he ran through the center, but the ball was played finally to Scott Parker who ballooned the ball hopelessly over the bar.
Walcott seemed to be injured as he received treatement on the sideline – but the Arsenal man had changed the game for England and did exactly what an impact sub is supposed to do – he scored one and made one.
And then on 87 minutes Oxlaide Chamerlauin came on for Danny Welbeck who had a good game for England tonight.
But a nervous England were hanging on as the game came to an end, and the two teams were very even, and England managed to play out the full four minutes of stoppage time for a much needed win.
It wasn’t exactly what was planned, but after going 2-1 down all credit to the England players for fighting their way back to win such a vital and important game.