Éder's tremendous solo effort with two minutes to go in Toulouse sent Italy into the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 on the back of a second Group E victory.
Although Sweden never let the Azzurri control matters as they had done in beating Belgium first time out, Marco Parolo rattled the crossbar with a late header and then Éder cut in from the left, outwitting several defenders before his decisive finish.
The goal was reward for Italy pushing forward more after half-time. Alessandro Florenzi and Antonio Candreva had more joy down the flanks, with the attacking instincts of Simone Zaza and Thiago Motta also introduced.
Compared with their 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland, Swedish coach Erik Hamrén went with John Guidetti up front, a year after his goal against Italy at the U21 EURO. The striker's name was continually chanted by the Sweden fans, outnumbering the Azzurri in the Stadium de Toulouse. He and Zlatan Ibrahimović helped the Blågult edge the opening period but without really carving out chances.
Indeed, the Swedes are yet to register a shot on target in these finals and must put that right if they are to overcome Belgium on Wednesday to stay in the tournament.
Man of the match: Éder (Italy)
Timing is everything, and what is surely the goal of the 29-year-old's career – cool and classy – showed that in abundance. The strike, supplemented by the two opportunities he created for team-mates, capped a lively showing by the front man who duly climbed 135 places to 98th in the Player Barometer.
Italy have the defence of champions
Despite Sweden's possession, it was nigh-on impossible for them to break through as Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli put on an Italian defensive display any of their Azzurri predecessors would have been proud of. Nor was there room for half-chances, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon gobbling up any loose balls.
Where are Sweden's goal coming from?
Gifted an own goal by Ireland, Sweden have been unable to turn possession into openings both on matchday one and today. Ibrahimović was always probing yet seems to have to be Sweden's creative hub as well as main finisher, something Italy could handle quite comfortably. The look of pure frustration on Ibrahimović's face as he rested his head on the post after missing an open goal (though he was offside) said it all.
Team reporters' views from Stadium de Toulouse
Ben Gladwell, Italy (@UEFAcomBenG)
Quite a cruel finish for Sweden, with Italy again showing their clinical streak with a late clincher. It will not mask what was an otherwise jaded performance, however, Antonio Conte's men failing to find their gear here in Toulouse. Football is about results, though, and the Squadra Azzurra have ground out another one.
Sujay Dutt, Sweden (@UEFAcomSujayD)
The performance was much improved for Sweden, set against the Ireland one. But it ended unhappily, and they really wanted a win before facing Belgium in their last group outing. Sweden were mainly solid in defence, not allowing Italy much space. With Albin Ekdal in midfield there was also more momentum going forward; however, what Hamrén's team really lacked today was a cutting edge.
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