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Welbeck's England winner ousts Sweden in EURO 2012 Group D

Sweden 2-3 England
Danny Welbeck's subtle finish with 12 minutes left gave England victory and ended Sweden's hopes after another Kyiv night of high drama.

Danny Welbeck scores England's winner against Sweden
Danny Welbeck scores England's winner against Sweden ©Getty Images

Sweden are out of UEFA EURO 2012 after Danny Welbeck's late back-heeled winner earned England a dramatic Group D victory.

Andy Carroll had given England the half-time lead but just past the hour mark it was already 2-2, Olof Mellberg forcing a Glen Johnson own goal then scoring himself before Theo Walcott's leveller. It was substitute Walcott who set up Welbeck with 12 minutes left to end Sweden's hopes with their second Kyiv comeback defeat. England join France on four points, one ahead of Ukraine with whom Roy Hodgson's side need only draw in Donetsk on Tuesday to make the quarter-finals.

EURO 2012: All you need to know

Both teams made changes to their attacking spearheads, Carroll in alongside Welbeck up front for Wayne Rooney-less England with Ashley Young switching to the left and Johan Elmander taking over from Markus Rosenberg as Zlatan Ibrahimović's foil. England began the brighter and Scott Parker's drive forced Andreas Isaksson into an early save.

Best goals of UEFA EURO 2012

However, Sweden were maintaining possession and Sebastian Larsson tested his one-time Birmingham City FC club-mate Joe Hart. Johnson did superbly when Ibrahimović looked to be through on goal and Hart also denied the Sweden captain.

It was the England captain, though, who made the first goal on 23 minutes. Gerrard sent in a long diagonal cross from the right which Carroll brilliantly headed in from the middle of the box. It took Sweden some time to regroup before Ibrahimović embarked on a solo run only for Hart to stop his deflected shot while at the other end Ashley Young dragged an effort into the side netting.

Sweden were looking for shots from distance, Kim Källström going close, and ended the first half strongly, other than a Welbeck break stopped by a superb Mellberg tackle.

Mellberg made an even more vital intervention four minutes into the second half. An Ibrahimović free-kick was blocked but he leapt to volley the ball to Mellberg, whose effort hit Johnson via Hart's gloves and crept in despite the right-back's desperate lunge.

Watch great saves from EURO 2012

With 18,000 fans behind them – unusually outnumbering England supporters – Sweden sensed a turnaround just like that which did for them in their 2-1 loss here to Ukraine. Just as on that day the next goal did not take long to arrive, Mellberg rising high to head in Larsson's crossed free-kick.

Ibrahimović so nearly had a third immediately, sprinting clear but was unable to beat Hart. Then an equaliser was only prevented by an instinctive reflex save from Isaksson after a John Terry header. However, from the resulting corner the unsighted Isaksson was beaten by a long-distance effort from Walcott, not long off the bench.

Now both teams were going all out for victory, Källström shooting just over and Hart superbly denying Ibrahimović. It was at the other end, though, where Welbeck cleverly flicked in, his face a picture of sheer joy after his first competitive goal on just the 21-year-old's seventh appearance. England's margin might have been even greater had Gerrard not been denied by Isaksson from point-blank range in added time, but it mattered not.

EURO 2012: Team of the Tournament


England line up ahead of the Sweden game
England line up ahead of the Sweden gameAFP via Getty Images

Sweden: Isaksson; Martin Olsson, Jonas Olsson, Mellberg, Granqvist (Lustig 66); Elm (Wilhelmsson 81), Källström, Svensson, Larsson; Ibrahimović (c), Elmander (Rosenberg 79)
: Wiland, Hansson, Hysén, Antonsson, Wernbloom, Safari, Holmén, Bajrami, Toivonen
Coach: Erik Hamrén

England: Hart; Ashley Cole, Lescott, Terry, Johnson; Young, Parker, Gerrard (c), Milner (Walcott 61); Welbeck (Oxlade-Chamberlain 90), Carroll
: Green, Butland, Kelly, Henderson, Baines, Jones, Jagielka, Downing, Defoe
: Roy Hodgson

Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)

Man of the Match: Olof Mellberg (Sweden)