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Sweden stun France with double turnaround

Sweden 4-1 France (agg: 4-3)
The home side first overturned a 2-0 first-leg defeat before Oscar Lewicki snatched a finals spot from France two minutes from time.

Oscar Lewicki celebrates his dramatic winner for Sweden
Oscar Lewicki celebrates his dramatic winner for Sweden ©AFP/Getty Images

"It feels almost unreal," said Sweden coach Håkan Ericson after his side overturned a 2-0 play-off first-leg defeat by France to seal a place in the 2015 UEFA European Championship after a remarkable finale.

With three minutes to go France looked to have weathered the storm as Layvin Kurzawa made it 3-1 on the night, meaning the visitors were heading through on away goals. But moments later Sweden hit back in Halmstad as Oscar Lewicki's second of the game took them through – but only after goalkeeper Patrik Carlgren had denied Aymeric Laporte.

It was a thrilling end to a thrilling game. Sweden's deficit was wiped out by half-time courtesy of two goals from Isaac Thelin – largely against the run of play. Sweden went for the jugular as the French tired in the second period and 19 minutes from time Lewicki put them in front for the first time in the play-off tie when John Guidetti's presence confused the defence.

France were not done, though, and with the finish line in sight Kurzawa sparked celebrations as he met a long cross with a firm header. Back came Sweden, with visiting keeper Alphonse Aréola rebuffing Simon Tibbling at the expense of a corner from which Lewicki earned a famous win. Just.