France through despite defeat

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Seb Larsson netted as Sweden beat France 2-0, but Laurent Blanc's side progressed to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

Last Updated: 19/06/12 at 21:58 Post Comment

Ibrahimovic: Volleys in for Sweden

Ibrahimovic: Volleys in for Sweden

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Blanc's men were second best throughout as they blew their big chance to emerge as group winners and in the end had England to thank for beating Ukraine and keeping them in the competition.

Ibrahimovic struck a sensational volley to give the proud Swedes a 54th-minute lead then Larsson lashed home the second in injury time much to the delight of the Swedish fans in Kiev.

France will now face reigning champions Spain in the last eight on Saturday.

Erik Hamren's men, out after losing to both England and Ukraine, showed their intent from the start as they got forward well and fashioned their first chance with just three minutes on the clock.

Martin Olsson was allowed too much space on the left and floated a cross to Ola Toivonen, who outjumped the French defence but could only direct his free header over the bar.

Larsson also headed over from an Olsson cross while the Swedes missed a golden chance in the 10th minute when Toivonen sprung clear and rounded French keeper Hugo Lloris only to then hit the post from a tight angle.

The French were struggling to make much of an impact, perhaps too secure in the knowledge that their last eight spot was virtually secure, though surely keen to avoid a meeting with Group C winners Spain.

Franck Ribery fed Karim Benzema who blazed the best French chance over the bar but it was Sweden who continued to attack with more purpose, with Olsson in particular exploiting the space afforded him down the left.

The game drifted towards the interval in rather low-key fashion but France threatened in the final minute, Benzema playing in Ribery whose shot from just inside the box was blazed high over the bar.

Sweden continued to look more likely to break the deadlock early in the second period, Larsson setting up Olof Mellberg who was ruled narrowly offside, with the French struggling to break down a resolute Swedish defence.

They almost did so in the 50th minute, when Benzema sprang the offside trap to race clear on the left flank, and after cutting inside onto his favoured right foot, unleashed a shot which flew just wide of Andreas Isaksson's left-hand post.

Alou Diarra brought a simple save out of Isaksson but just as France looked to be getting to grips with the game, the Swedes stole forward once again and claimed their richly deserved opener.

Toivonen saw a shot blocked by Lloris then moments later Larsson delivered a drifting ball in from the right which Ibrahimovic met with a spectacular volley to crash the Swedes ahead.

Mellberg drew a magnificent close-range save out of Lloris as Sweden came close to adding a second, but the French began to respond, with Samir Nasri drilling a shot wide and Yann M'Vila firing straight at Isaksson.

Nevertheless it was a strangely lethargic performance from the French, who seldom looked likely to wrest the tie - and with it the destiny of Group D - back to their advantage.

Substitute Jeremy Menez scuffed a simple chance straight at Isaksson with eight minutes to go, then moments later Oliver Giroud headed over the bar from close range when he should have scored.

Sweden made it two in injury time when Christian Wilhelmsson hammered Andreas Granqvist's cross against the bar and the ball rebounded for Larsson to ram home the simplest of chances.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

There are no results at present.

European Championships

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Czech Rep 3 -1 6
2 Greece 3 0 4
3 Russia 3 2 4
4 Poland 3 -1 2

Updated Wed, 20 Jun 2012

Footer 365

Transfer News: James Rodriguez undergoing medical in Madrid, ahead of Real move

Colombia star James Rodriguez is on the verge of completing a blockbuster £63million move to Real Madrid from Monaco.

Friendly: Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere score in Newcastle victory

Debutant Emmanuel Riviere was amongst the scorers as Newcastle cruised to an emotional 4-0 friendly win over Sydney FC.

Premier League: Cardiff captain Steven Caulker to have QPR medical

Cardiff defender Steven Caulker is having a medical with QPR, Sky sources understand.

Mail Box

Goodbye Patrice And Farewell Steven...

Man United fans say a fond farewell to Patrice Evra in the mailbox while there are also thoughts on Steven Gerrard's retirement from England duty. Plus, some rare cricket bantz...

Defending Spurs' Transfer Spending...

Liverpool have been accused of 'doing a Spurs' this summer, but one Spurs fan argues that the club's business last year shouldn't be viewed in a negative light...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property