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Larsson lights up Sweden on dark day for Bulgaria

Published: Tuesday 15 June 2004, 0.43CET
Sweden 5-0 Bulgaria
Henrik Larsson scored twice on his competitive comeback in an emphatic defeat of Bulgaria in Lisbon.
by David Farrelly
from Estádio José Alvalade
Larsson lights up Sweden on dark day for Bulgaria
Henrik Larsson celebrates after scoring two goals in as many minutes against Bulgaria ©AFP

Match statistics

SwedenBulgaria

Goals scored5
 
0
Attempts on target9
 
3
Attempts off target2
 
7
Corners5
 
3
Fouls committed22
 
20
Yellow cards2
 
4
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:58 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 15 June 2004, 0.43CET

Larsson lights up Sweden on dark day for Bulgaria

Sweden 5-0 Bulgaria
Henrik Larsson scored twice on his competitive comeback in an emphatic defeat of Bulgaria in Lisbon.

Sweden recorded only their third victory in a UEFA European Championship finals as two fine goals from Henrik Larsson and further strikes from Fredrik Ljungberg, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Marcus Allbäck powered them past Bulgaria in Lisbon.

It was a fairy-tale return to competitive international action for Larsson as he scored two goals in two minutes shortly before the hour to end as a contest a game in which Bulgaria battled bravely. Already ahead through Ljungberg's first-half opener, Larsson's spectacular diving header from Erik Edman's pinpoint left-wing cross doubled their lead after 57 minutes.

Seconds later, Anders Svensson's low cross from the right was missed by the diving Zdravko Zdravkov and Larsson knocked the ball into the roof of the net from close range. Ibrahimović scored a fourth from the penalty spot 12 minutes from time after Ljungberg had been brought down, and substitute Allbäck raced on to Larsson's chip to add a fifth late on.

Two well-drilled teams initially offered few clear scoring chances despite a bright start. Ivaylo Petkov had to be alert to the threat of Ibrahimović as early as the second minute when the AFC Ajax striker was first to Andreas Isaksson's long clearance, but the defender managed to block his shot. Moments later Mikael Nilsson's low left-wing cross flashed across the face of goal but failed to reach either Ibrahimović or Larsson.

Bulgaria also provided some attacking verve, and Georgi Peev should have forced Isaksson into action in the 12th minute after spinning on the edge of the box only to shoot tamely. Then Zoran Janković volleyed narrowly wide of Isaksson's right-hand post after connecting with Martin Petrov's outswinging cross from the left.

Sweden slowly began to dominate as Edman's shot from a close-range indirect free-kick was charged down by Stiliyan Petrov before Larsson's lunging half-volley from eight metres angled narrowly over following Nilsson's cross from the right.

Yet Bulgaria, inspired by Stiliyan Petrov's work rate, nearly broke the deadlock after 24 minutes when Martin Petrov flashed a low shot from the left of the area wide of Isaksson's left-hand post. Then Dimitar Berbatov's header forced the Sweden goalkeeper to back-pedal and tip over the bar.

The opening goal, however, came at the other end in the 32nd minute and was initiated by the impressive Nilsson, Sweden's only first-choice outfield player to ply his trade in the Allsvenskan. His pass along the right flank allowed Ibrahimović to beat the offside trap and draw keeper Zdravkov before rolling the ball for Ljungberg to fire in.

Shortly after the restart, Janković should have scored from Martin Petrov's cross but his header went agonisingly wide of Isaksson's right-hand post with the goalkeeper beaten. Sweden responded immediately when an amazing flick by Ibrahimović left Ljungberg with a free shot on goal, but Zdravkov was quickly down to parry the ball to safety with his knees.

Martin Petrov's excellent service into the penalty area was almost rewarded with a goal as his cross-cum-shot was narrowly missed by Berbatov. Seconds later two moments of magic from Larsson turned the match inexorably in Sweden's favour.

Last updated: 16/01/12 14.50CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=192039.html#larsson+lights+sweden

Lineups

Sweden

Sweden

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

1
IsakssonAndreas Isaksson (GK)
1
ZdravkovZdravko Zdravkov (GK)
2
LucicTeddy Lucic
Substitution41
2
IvanovVladimir Ivanov
Yellow Card70
3
MellbergOlof Mellberg (C)
3
KirilovRosen Kirilov
Yellow Card22
5
EdmanErik Edman
4
I PetkovIvaylo Petkov
Yellow Card18
6
LinderothTobias Linderoth
Yellow Card52
9
BerbatovDimitar Berbatov
Substitution76
7
NilssonMikael Nilsson
13
G PeevGeorgi Peev
8
A. SvenssonAnders Svensson
Substitution76
15
M HristovMariyan Hristov
9
LjungbergFredrik Ljungberg
Goal32
17
M.PetrovMartin Petrov
Substitution84
10
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović
Yellow Card65
Goal78
Substitution81
18
PažinPredrag Pažin
11
LarssonHenrik Larsson
Goal57
Goal58
19
St.PetrovStiliyan Petrov (C)
15
JakobssonAndreas Jakobsson
21
JankovićZoran Janković
Yellow Card23
Substitution62

Substitutes

12
HedmanMagnus Hedman (GK)
12
KolevStoyan Kolev (GK)
23
KihlstedtMagnus Kihlstedt (GK)
23
IvankovDimitar Ivankov (GK)
16
KällströmKim Källström
Substitution76
10
DimitrovVelizar Dimitrov
Substitution62
20
AllbäckMarcus Allbäck
Substitution81
Goal90+1
11
LazarovZdravko Lazarov
Substitution84
21
WilhelmssonChristian Wilhelmsson
Substitution41
16
ManchevVladimir Manchev
Substitution76
4
MjällbyJohan Mjällby
5
ZagorčićZlatomir Zagorčić
13
Pe. HanssonPetter Hansson
6
KotevKiril Kotev
14
ÖstlundAlexander Östlund
7
BorimirovDaniel Borimirov
17
Anders AnderssonAnders Andersson
8
M. PetkovMilen Petkov
18
JonsonMattias Jonson
14
ChilikovGeorgi Chilikov
19
FarnerudPontus Farnerud
20
BozhinovValeri Bozhinov
22
WahlstedtErik Wahlstedt
22
I. StoyanovIlian Stoyanov

Referee

Michael Riley (ENG)

Assistant referees

Philip Sharp (ENG), Glenn Turner (ENG)

Fourth official

Stuart Dougal (SCO)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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