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Belgium's Nainggolan floors Sweden with late strike

Published: Wednesday 22 June 2016, 23.00CET
Sweden 0-1 Belgium
An entertaining game was level until Radja Nainggolan settled matters with a deflected strike, as the Red Devils clinched second in Group E.
by Wayne Harrison from Stade de Nice

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Match statistics

SwedenBelgium

Goals scored0
1
Possession (%)50
 
50
Total attempts12
 
23
on target3
 
8
off target5
 
8
blocked4
 
7
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners4
 
12
Offsides0
4
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed10
 
14
Fouls suffered14
 
10

Standings

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 16/06/2017 10:40 CET
SSI Err
Published: Wednesday 22 June 2016, 23.00CET

Belgium's Nainggolan floors Sweden with late strike

Sweden 0-1 Belgium
An entertaining game was level until Radja Nainggolan settled matters with a deflected strike, as the Red Devils clinched second in Group E.

  • Belgium tie up second place in Group E after defeating Sweden in Nice
  • Radja Nainggolan scores only goal for Red Devils, who meet Hungary in last 16
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović finishes his Sweden career with 62 goals in 116 appearances
  • Erik Hamrén's near seven-year tenure as Sweden coach is now over
  • All the build-up, match action and reaction as it happened on UEFA.com


Radja Nainggolan's deflected strike six minutes from time earned Belgium a place in the knockout stage of UEFA EURO 2016, in the process ensuring Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimović's stellar international career ended on a losing note.

A breathless encounter was heading for stalemate when the holding midfielder walked on to Eden Hazard's cutback from the byline and unleashed a right-footed drive that whizzed past Andreas Isaksson with the aid of a deflection off Erkan Zengin.

The goal also rubber-stamped the elimination of a Sweden side for whom Marcus Berg had corrected the unwanted statistic of not having had a shot on target all tournament – a fifth-minute volley that was beaten out by Thibaut Courtois.

The teams continued to trade blows as the contest ebbed and flowed, the pace belying the stuffiness of a warm night on the French Riviera. The roaming Kevin De Bruyne proved a handful for Erik Hamrén's men, who redoubled their efforts after the restart as the tempo remained high.

Witsel wary of 'surprising' Hungary

The Swedes were unable to fashion a breakthrough, however, and were eventually undone by Nainggolan's strike from outside the box, shortly after Romelu Lukaku and substitute Dries Mertens had been denied by Isaksson. Ibrahimović went close with a late volley, but the dream farewell goal was not to be.

The challenge for Sweden now is to regroup, with a new coach and captain, for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Man of the match: Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Hazard not only supplied the assist for Nainggolan's fierce drive; the skipper, with his dribbing and crossing ability on show, also set up five opportunities for team-mates on top of completing 43 of his 47 attempted passes.

De Bruyne influence
Though he started centrally, the Manchester City player was at his most dangerous on the left. Belgium's No7 will have been frustrated that nobody got on the end of two teasing crosses, delivered with either foot, while he twice tested Isaksson's reflexes from outside the area. Belgium have never lost when De Bruyne has scored, so if he finds his range then the Red Devils will be a match for anybody. 

Ibrahimović watch
As was the case in his previous two outings, clear-cut openings were scarce for Ibrahimović. Playing in a stadium where he had netted twice in a 4-0 win for Paris Saint-Germain last December, Sweden's talisman had to manufacture his two first-half attempts, one of them an impudent flick and volley that was blocked. A header over the bar, a free-kick pushed away by Courtois and a last-gasp shot were the sum of his second-half endeavours.

Tepid Sweden
Sweden's downfall has ultimately been a lack of punch, although they gave it a go here in front of their own Prince Carl Philip. Only five players scored for the Blågult in qualifying, a much lower figure than for any of their group rivals, with Ibrahimović contributing 11 goals. If the big man was not firing, others needed to step up. With the No10 having donned the yellow jersey for the last time, that has become even more pertinent.

Reporters' views from Stade de Nice
Sujay Dutt, Sweden (@UEFAcomSujayD)
Sweden played patiently from the off. In the second half, knowing only a win would keep them in France, they upped their game, but concrete opportunities were few and far between. Although this was a better Swedish performance across the pitch than against Ireland and Italy, it was too little too late.

Berend Scholten, Belgium (@UEFAcomBerendS)
Marc Wilmots made only one change to the XI that began the 3-0 defeat of the Republic of Ireland, bringing in Nainggolan for the injured Mousa Dembélé. Inspired by the excellent De Bruyne, Belgium again created, with Thomas Meunier and Lukaku getting close before the late clincher.

Last updated: 12/07/16 17.28CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000448/match=2017957/postmatch/report/index.html#belgiums+nainggolan+floors+sweden

Lineups

Sweden

Sweden

Belgium

Belgium

1
IsakssonAndreas Isaksson (GK)
1
CourtoisThibaut Courtois (GK)
3
E. JohanssonErik Johansson
Yellow Card36
2
AlderweireldToby Alderweireld
4
GranqvistAndreas Granqvist
3
VermaelenThomas Vermaelen
5
M. OlssonMartin Olsson
4
NainggolanRadja Nainggolan
Goal84
6
ForsbergEmil Forsberg
Substitution82
5
VertonghenJan Vertonghen
7
S. LarssonSebastian Larsson
Substitution70
6
WitselAxel Witsel
Yellow Card45+1
8
EkdalAlbin Ekdal
Yellow Card33
7
De BruyneKevin De Bruyne
9
KällströmKim Källström
9
R. LukakuRomelu Lukaku
Substitution87
10
IbrahimovićZlatan Ibrahimović (C)
10
HazardEden Hazard (C)
Substitution90+3
11
BergMarcus Berg
Substitution63
11
CarrascoYannick Carrasco
Substitution71
14
LindelöfVictor Lindelöf
16
MeunierThomas Meunier
Yellow Card30

Substitutes

12
OlsenRobin Olsen (GK)
12
MignoletSimon Mignolet (GK)
23
CarlgrenPatrik Carlgren (GK)
13
GilletJean-François Gillet (GK)
2
LustigMikael Lustig
8
FellainiMarouane Fellaini
13
JanssonPontus Jansson
14
MertensDries Mertens
Substitution71
15
HiljemarkOscar Hiljemark
15
DenayerJason Denayer
16
WernbloomPontus Wernbloom
17
OrigiDivock Origi
Substitution90+3
17
AugustinssonLudwig Augustinsson
18
KabaseleChristian Kabasele
18
LewickiOscar Lewicki
19
DembéléMousa Dembélé
19
KujovicEmir Kujovic
20
BentekeChristian Benteke
Substitution87
20
GuidettiJohn Guidetti
Substitution63
21
J. LukakuJordan Lukaku
21
DurmazJimmy Durmaz
Substitution70
22
BatshuayiMichy Batshuayi
22
Erkan ZenginErkan Zengin
Substitution82
23
CimanLaurent Ciman

Coach

Erik Hamrén (SWE) Marc Wilmots (BEL)

Referee

Felix Brych (GER)

Assistant referees

Mark Borsch (GER), Stefan Lupp (GER)

Fourth official

Matej Jug (SVN)

Additional assistant referees

Bastian Dankert (GER), Marco Fritz (GER)

Legend:

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