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Ibrahimović powers Sweden to UEFA EURO 2016

Denmark 2-2 Sweden (agg: 3-4)
Zlatan Ibrahimović scored a goal in each half – the second a marvellous free-kick – as Sweden booked their place in the finals.

Highlights: Watch Zlatan's Sweden double
Highlights: Watch Zlatan's Sweden double
  • Sweden qualify for fifth successive EURO, their sixth in all
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović double takes his tally to 11 goals in ten qualifiers
  • Ibrahimović's second, a brilliant free-kick, ultimately clinches tie
  • Denmark reply with two headers to set up exciting finale
  • Teams wear black armbands and observe minute's silence following events in Paris

Zlatan Ibrahimović was once again Sweden's inspiration as his two goals – the second a marvellous free-kick – wrapped up their play-off victory over Denmark and place at UEFA EURO 2016.

The home side had already hit the bar in Copenhagen when Ibrahimović soothed Swedish concerns with the 19th-minute opener, making it 3-1 on aggregate. His fine second-half free-kick all but wrapped things up, even if headers from Yussuf Poulsen and Jannik Vestergaard ensured a few late nerves.

The scene was set for this Scandinavian derby weeks ago: a sell-out, with royalty in the stands, it had been the talk of the town since the draw was made. The intense early atmosphere fitted the bill perfectly.

Sweden celebrate at full time
Sweden celebrate at full time©AFP/Getty Images

Denmark were roused, and so nearly had their noses in front for the first time in the tie – on away goals – when Yussuf Poulsen's header was directed onto the crossbar by Kim Källström. The Parken was rocking to the tune of 'If you don't jump you love Sweden' when Yussuf Poulsen went close again.

There were soon a few who do love Sweden bouncing up and down as Ibrahimović struck. A low cross from a corner ended at the Paris Saint-Germain forward's feet and he scored via a well-controlled volley.

It was a similar scenario to the first leg, with Denmark passing well and pressing high without reward – and regardless of their 1-0 cushion, Sweden struggled to impose themselves. The hosts continued pushing in the second half without getting anywhere and Morten Olsen, overseeing his final Denmark game, could not conjure something special.

Ibrahimović could, though, curling a beautiful free-kick around the wall and just inside the post with 14 minutes remaining. With that, Sweden's ticket to France next summer was rubber-stamped. Yussuf Poulsen and substitute Jannick Vestergaard did eventually earn Denmark a merited share of the spoils on the night, but even then they still needed two more for a comeback. Ibrahimović does it again.