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Switzerland seal progress in Sweden

Sweden 1-1 Switzerland (agg: 2-5)
The visitors completed a 5-2 aggregate win after Nassim Ben Khalifa eased their nerves by cancelling out Pierre Bengtsson's opener in Malmo.

Switzerland celebrate their goal away to Sweden
Switzerland celebrate their goal away to Sweden ©AFP

Switzerland kept Sweden at arm's-length to reach the UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals in Denmark next summer with a 1-1 draw in Malmo completing a 5-2 aggregate triumph for Pierluigi Tami's charges.

A 4-1 first-leg success had laid the foundations for Switzerland but the hosts' hopes of a turnaround in Malmo were boosted inside 15 minutes when Pierre Bengtsson reduced the deficit to two goals overall.

The prospect of a rousing second half from the home side was quickly snuffed out, however, when Nassim Ben Khalifa levelled two minutes after the restart to book Switzerland's place in the finals for the first time in six years.

Sweden needed an early breakthrough and it arrived when Jiloan Hamad's free-kick was headed out as far as Bengtsson, who returned it with interest beyond Yann Sommer from the edge of the box. A second nearly followed eight minutes later when Martin Olsson and Denni Avdic combined, the former's cross met by a strong header from Guillermo Molins that Sommer did well to save at his near post.

The crucial moment came soon after the resumption when a quick interchange of passes between Ben Khalifa and Xavier Hochstrasser conjured an opening for Ben Khalifa. Clean through on goal, the No9 finished low past Kristoffer Nordfeldt to put the tie to bed.

Sweden's elimination marked the end of joint-coach Jörgen Lennartsson's six-year spell with the side as he leaves to join Norwegian club Stabæk Fotbal. The 45-year-old helped his country get to the semi-finals on home soil in 2009.