Euro 2020: How Sweden Booked Their Place at This Summer’s Tournament

Euro 2020: How Sweden Booked Their Place at This Summer’s Tournament


​Sweden will go into next summer’s European Championships in good spirits, having finished second in their group to secure automatic qualification to the tournament. 

After finishing rock bottom of their group at Euro 2016, they bounced back to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2018. RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg scored to help his nation overcome Switzerland, but they were eventually knocked out in the next round by England. 

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Sweden have since continued to impress, finishing second in Group F behind Spain. Janne Andersson’s men picked up six wins from their ten group games, while they only lost once. In this time, they found the net on 23 occasions and they conceded nine times. 

​They have a lot of bright talents that will be looking to have their say next summer, but ahead of the tournament, here’s a look back at how they qualified…


Sweden’s Group Stage Journey 

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Sweden kicked off their qualifying campaign with a win over Romania – albeit a slender one. Robin Quaison had given them the lead before Viktor Claesson doubled it with a thumping low drive five minutes before half time.

However, Romania found a way back into the game after the break as Razvan Marin’s chipped pass found Claudiu Keșerü. The forward stooped low to head the ball in and give the Romanians hope. Andersson’s men were able to see out the remainder of the game, however, and even wasted a number of chances to add to their lead.

They then followed this up with a pulsating 3-3 draw with Norway on matchday two. Goals from Bjorn Johnsen and ​Bournemouth‘s Joshua King had given Norway a 2-0 lead, putting them in control of the contest. But Sweden came fighting back, with Claesson firing in after Andreas Granqvist’s penalty was saved.

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Håvard Nordtveit then deflected the ball into his own net to make it 2-2 with just four minutes remaining. However, there was still plenty of drama to come as Quaison netted in injury time to score what he thought was the winner. But Martin Odegaard, on loan at Real Sociedad from ​Real Madrid, whipped in a sensational corner which Ola Kamara met. His header flew into the back of the net, sparking wild celebrations in Oslo. 

Sweden went on to secure a comfortable 3-0 win over Malta on matchday three, with Quaison, Claesson and Alexander Isak all finding the net. It was an impressive start to the qualifying campaign from Andersson’s team, but they were blown away by Spain in their next match. 

​Sergio Ramos opened the scoring from the spot, Alvaro Morata did likewise and Mikel Oyarzabal rounded off the scoring. Sweden managed just 25% possession and had just one shot on target. 

Inigo Martinez,Sergio Ramos

Nonetheless, they bounced back to beat the Faroe Islands 4-0, with Isak bagging a brace, while ​Manchester United‘s Victor Lindelof also got on the scoresheet. It was the perfect way to respond.

Matchday six saw Sweden host Norway and there were high expectations in terms of entertainment, considering the late drama that unfolded in their last tussle. 

However, it’s safe to say that this match didn’t quite reach the same heights.

Kristoffer Olsson,Emil Forsberg

It ended 1-1, with Sweden managing just one shot on target, while Norway weren’t much better – they hit the target twice. Nonetheless, it was still one point gained for Andersson’s men. They were able to rediscover their shooting boots for their next game against Malta, with Sebastian Larsson scoring twice. 

The Swede’s next faced a real challenge as they took on Spain once more and they will have been seeking revenge after they were swept aside in the reverse fixture. They were hugely impressive, posing a real threat on the counter-attack time and time again. The Spaniards saw 75% of the ball (same as in the last match), but this time, Sweden registered seven shots on target.

Marcus Berg

Marcus Berg scored to give his country the lead, despite David de Gea’s best efforts and it appeared as though they would be heading for victory until Rodrigo struck with almost the last kick of the game to rescue a point for Spain. 

Berg was once again on target in matchday nine, helping the Swede’s ease past a talented Romania side. This 2-0 win saw them officially book their place at the European Championships next summer. 

Andersson opted to rest a number of his key players for the final qualifying match against the Faroe Islands, but they still comfortably strolled to a 3-0 win. 


Final Group F Standings

NationPoints
Spain26
Sweden 21
Norway17
Romania14
Faroe Islands3
​Malta​3

For more from Adam Aladay, follow him on Twitter!





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