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Claesson breaks Polish hearts as Sweden grab last-gasp winner against Poland

Poland threatened to spoil the party for Sweden, pulling two goals back to level, but an injury time goal from Claesson sealed the deal for Sweden. They will face Ukraine in the Round of 16

June 24, 2021 / 12:44 AM IST
=Sweden's Viktor Claesson scores his side's third goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group E match between Sweden and Poland at the Gazprom Arena stadium, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (Maxim Shemetov /Pool via AP)

=Sweden's Viktor Claesson scores his side's third goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group E match between Sweden and Poland at the Gazprom Arena stadium, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (Maxim Shemetov /Pool via AP)

When you have five goals scored with the scoreline 3-2 in favour of the victor, more often than not, the match would have been a thriller. The Sweden-Poland matchup was nothing short of a thriller as Sweden edged past Poland in the dying minute of the match to qualify for the Round of 16 at Euro 2020. Emil Forsberg struck twice, the first coming after just 81 seconds, the fastest of Euro 2020, but Robert Lewandowski's double gave Poland hope of qualifying before Claesson's late goal sent Sweden through as group winners.

 

Sweden will likely play Ukraine in the last 16 after pipping Spain to first place, with Slovakia exiting alongside Poland following a crushing 5-0 defeat in Seville. Janne Andersson's side, safe in the knowledge they were assured of a place in the next round before kick-off, made a dream start as Forsberg scored for the second game in a row, netting the second-fastest goal in European Championship history. Fosberg collected a loose ball just outside the Poland area after Kamil Glik flattened Alexander Isak, riding a challenge from Kamil Jozwiak before firing into the far corner. Fosberg scored again in the 59th minute with Poland all but out of the tie. Fosberg curled one in after being set up by Kulusevski who had come on ten minutes into the second half.

 

With nothing to lose, Poland attacked with intent and their efforts were almost immediately rewarded. Two minutes after Sweden’s second goal, Lewandoski scored a solo goal, curling the ball into the top corner, giving the Sweden’s Olsen no chance of saving. The goal also saw Lewandowski become Poland’s leading scorer at the Euros. With six minutes to go, Lewandowski equalised following a mix-up between Lindelof and Danielson in front of the Swedish goal, to send shivers down Sweden’s spine. Poland sent everyone up the pitch in search for their winner but were caught off-guard in the counter. Kulusevski set up Claesson who curled in the winner to bag all three points for Sweden and break Polish hearts. Sweden will now play Ukraine in the Round of 16.

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Neeraj Krishnan

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