Zlatan Ibrahimovic sends Sweden to finals with second-leg brace in Denmark

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Euro 2016 qualification play-off second-leg, Telia Parken – Denmark 2 (Poulson 81, Vertergaard 90) Sweden 2 (Ibrahimovic 19, 76).

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice – the second a superb free-kick – to give Sweden a 2-2 draw (4-3 win on aggregate) against Denmark in their Euro 2016 play-off..

At the start of the game it was Denmark who looked likeliest to score, and Kim Kallstrom’s attempted clearance crashed against his own side’s crossbar.

However, Sweden took the lead when a clever, disguised corner was aimed to an unmarked Ibrahimovic at the near post, and he turned in a shot to the far corner. Sweden almost had another, when Zlatan’s cross was put over his bar by Daniel Agger.

In the second half, Sweden absorbed pressure and were happy to sit back, and commit tactical fouls in areas where set pieces would not pose a threat. It took until the 72nd minute for Denmark to threaten, when Christian Eriksen crashed in a shot from close range against Sebastian Larsson.

Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic made things certain with a brilliant free kick into the top corner, and late goals from Yussuf Poulsen and Jannik Vestegaard made no difference.

KEY EVENTS

8’ – KALLSTROM CLEARANCE – A Delaney glancing header finds Kallstrom desperately straining to intervene. He reaches out with a leg and his attempted clearance strikes the crossbar and is eventually scrambled away.

19’ – GOAL! Denmark 0-1 Sweden – Ibrahimovic scores. Corner for Sweden on the right wing. It’s taken low and to the near post. Ibrahimovic is criminally unmarked and he hooks a scuffed shot into the corner.

31’ – ERIKSEN FREE-KICK – Eriksen hits the free-kick well, towards the bottom corner and it bounces just in front of Isaksson, but the ‘keeper pushes it around the post and away from danger.

Sweden Celebrate Qualification

39’ – AGGER CLEARANCE – A flighted ball is picked up by Ibrahimovic. He shrugs off a defender, and curls in a cross that Agger sends just over his own net.

72’ – ERIKSEN CHANCE – Eriksen comes close for Denmark. A long throw to the left is glanced on, it comes to Eriksen, who hooks a fierce strike at goal which is blocked a couple of yards from out.

76’ – GOAL! Denmark 0-2 Sweden – Ibrahimovic with a screamer! He curls a brilliant free-kick into the top near corner, beating the ‘keeper for pace and placement.

81’ – GOAL! Denmark 1-2 Sweden – Yussuf Poulsen with a consolation.Poulsen latches onto a cross to the back post, and crashes in a header.

90+1’ – GOAL! Denmark 2-2 Sweden – Vestergaard pulls another back. He meets a corner from the right and thunders a header under the crossbar.

KEY STATS

Denmark had 18 attempts on goal compared to Sweden’s six, to score the same amount of goals.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 61st and 62nd goals for Sweden.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

Ibrahimovic gets his send-off. The rumours are that Ibrahimovic will leaveParis Saint-Germain to be replaced by a new superstar, and it’s not clear if he will move on to a traditionally important side in Europe. MLS, or a return to Sweden have been suggested, and his goal tonight means he will have one last spell in the limelight at Euro 2016 if he does indeed decide to initiate a wind-down come the 16/17 campaign.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden): For a man whose physical prowess and influence is waning, he was still strong and effective for Sweden. His guile put his side ahead, and his strength and determination almost caused Agger to score an own goal. Without his personality and determination to drag his side to the tournament, they would have struggled tonight.

PLAYER RATINGS

Denmark: Schmeichel 6, Kjaer 5, Agger 5, Durmisi 6, Jacobsen 6, Eriksen 6, Delaney 6, Hojbjerg 5, Bendtner 5, Jorgensen 5, Y. Poulsen 6. Subs: Vestergaard 7, Krohn-Dehli 6, Rasmussen 6.

Sweden: Isaksson 6, Lustig 6, Granqvist 6, Johansson 6, Bengtsson 5, Forsberg6, Larsson 6, Lewicki 5, Kallstrom 6, Ibrahimovic 8, Berg 6. Subs: Olsson 6,Hiljemark 6, Svensson 6

Author: EuroSports

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