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Wernbloom shows his worth for Sweden

Pontus Wernbloom scored his first two Sweden goals to defeat Hungary 2-0 and said the doubts about whether he would even win his ninth cap proved a spur to his performance.

Pontus Wernbloom is mobbed after scoring for Sweden
Pontus Wernbloom is mobbed after scoring for Sweden ©Getty Images

Pontus Wernbloom scored both Sweden's goals as they opened UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group E with a 2-0 win against Hungary but said the visitors proved tough to break down.

Sweden had the lion's share of possession from early on at the Råsundastadion but took 51 minutes to score. When they did, it was through relative newcomer Wernbloom, his first goal on his ninth appearance.

"In the first half they closed us down well," the AZ Alkmaar midfielder said. "We couldn't find the space we wanted and only created chances through Zlatan [Ibrahimović]. In the second half all of us became more active around the pitch, and suddenly we created more chances and also got to score."

The second goal came from a Kim Källström corner, Wernbloom applying the finishing touch when usually he would not have been in a position to score. "When Johan [Elmander] was taken off and replaced by Sebastian Larsson I was told to get inside the box for the corners," Wernbloom explained.

Before the match it was no certainty that the 24-year-old would start in the Swedish midfield, many pundits guessing the more experienced Källström would get the nod. "I'm a blue-eyed optimist," said Wernbloom. "I always believe I'll play even when others say I shouldn't. This week I didn't know from day to day whether I would be picked. But I like that uncertainty, it eggs you on."

While Wernbloom will hope for his tenth cap against San Marino in Malmo on Tuesday, central defender Olof Mellberg picked up his 103rd in the Hungary victory. "I think we did well, we wore them down and once we got the first goal things got easier", said the Olympiacos FC player, who turned 33 on Friday. "We created chances in the first half too and should probably have scored. It was important not to get frustrated."