Euro 2020: Sweden beat Slovakia 1-0
St. Petersburg, June 18 (IANS): Sweden overcame a poor first half to claim a vital 1-0 win against Slovakia in Euro 2020 here on Friday.
The Swedes, who have conceded just one goal in their last seven matches and collected four points from their two group games, will look to secure a last-16 berth in their last game against Poland on June 23, reports Xinhua.
The first 45 minutes were tough for fans, with Sweden struggling to create anything against a team that decided to not play a specialist striker and consequently lacked a focal point in attack or someone to stretch the Swedish defence.
The Swedes also lacked ambition after their draw with Spain in their opening game, although they had few problems in keeping the Slovaks at bay. They sat deeper and deeper as the half progressed.
Striker Alexander Isak, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, was isolated in attack in the first half, though things changed drastically after half-time.
Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen produced a reflex save to deny Juraj Kucka’s header, while at the other end, Martin Dubravka was at full stretch to parry Ludwig Augustinsson’s header from Sebastian Larsson’s perfect cross.
From the following corner, Marcus Danielsson nodded over after Isak sent the ball back across the face of goal. And shortly afterwards Isak saw a shot deflected wide as the Swedes finally began to come to life.
Isak then headed a cross just over as the Swedes continued to press for a winner. In the 76th minute, Emil Forsberg calmly converted the penalty with a powerful shot to the corner. The penalty was awarded after Robin Quaison was brought down in the box.