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Sweden Beats Netherlands 3-2 To Qualify For Euros

Stockholm, Oct 12:  Sweden rallied to beat the Netherlands 3-2 on Tuesday to qualify for the European Championship.The Dutch—unbeaten in qualifying before the match in Stockholm—had already won Group E and are also through to

PTI [ Updated: October 12, 2011 8:12 IST ]
sweden beats netherlands 3 2 to qualify for euros
sweden beats netherlands 3 2 to qualify for euros

Stockholm, Oct 12:  Sweden rallied to beat the Netherlands 3-2 on Tuesday to qualify for the European Championship.


The Dutch—unbeaten in qualifying before the match in Stockholm—had already won Group E and are also through to Euro 2012. The Swedes advanced as the best runner-up in the nine qualifying groups.

The Netherlands controlled the start of the match but it was the home side that scored in the 14th minute when a foul on Johan Elmander set up a Swedish free kick five meters from the penalty box.

Kim Kallstrom took three short steps and elegantly curled the ball over the wall and into goalkeeper Michel Vorm's left corner.

The goal energized the Swedish team and the sellout crowd at Rasunda stadium for about 10 minutes before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar equalized in the 23rd, breaking away from the Swedish defense to head in a cross from Erik Pieters.

Ola Toivonen squandered a chance to put Sweden back in the lead when he shot high over the bar from close range in the 31st. Robin van Persie shot wide from the right flank as the Dutch gradually regained control of the match but struggled to create scoring chances.

Dirk Kuyt put the Netherlands in the lead just four minutes after the break, heading in a rebound from Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.

But the Dutch invited Sweden back into the match just a minute later as Joris Mathijsen handled the ball inside the area, and Sebastian Larsson calmly converted from the penalty spot.

Toivonen's powerful shot made it 3-2 for Sweden in the 53rd after the Dutch defense failed to clear Elmander's cross.

Isaksson made a spectacular foot save on Huntelaar's header in the 64th and the Dutch never came close after that despite a barrage of corner kicks.

Sweden had not won a competitive match against the Netherlands since 1924. AP

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