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Sweden surge leaves Italy defeated

Italy 1-2 Sweden
Isaac Kiese Thelin converted a late penalty as Sweden came from behind to open Group B victorious in a game both teams ended with ten men.

2015 highlights: Italy 1-2 Sweden

John Guidetti equalises and Isaac Kiese Thelin converts late penalty to seal victory
Domenico Berardi's spot kick had given Italy half-time lead in Group B
Sweden's Alexander Milošević sent off conceding the penalty
Stefano Sturaro of Italy dismissed with ten minutes to go, just before winner
Next matches: Sweden v England, Portugal v Italy (Sunday)

Sweden came from behind to start UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group B with victory against Italy.

The second half contained much more drama than the first which, save for Italy's Federico Viviani firing in a cross-cum-shot that had Sweden No1 Patrik Carlgren scrambling before tipping the ball over, had little goalmouth action before Italy opened the scoring in the 29th minute.

Domenico Berardi – highlighted in the official tournament programme as Italy's one to watch having got to 30 league goals for Sassuolo quicker than Lionel Messi did for Barcelona (59 games compared to the Argentinian's 71) – played a pass out of nothing behind the Sweden defence to Andrea Belotti, who was brought down by Alexander Milošević as he shaped to shoot.

Milošević was shown a straight red and Berardi did the rest, slotting in a spot kick to silence the wall of yellow-shirted fans behind Carlgren's goal. Coach Håkan Ericson did not make an immediate change, instead instructing Oscar Lewicki to drop back from central midfield to support Filip Helander, allowing Berardi to drop into the space and dictate the flow of the game.

Sweden took 51 minutes to earn their first corner but they struck from their second – and first chance – in the 56th. Abdullah Khalili swung his delivery to the far post, which was missed by Sturaro but not Lewicki, who collected it, took a touch and drilled a pass across goal that Guidetti turned in.

Italy were clearly rocked as Sweden hunted in packs to close down the space created by Milošević's dismissal, although inevitably they began to tire and were almost punished when substitute Danilo Cataldi worked an opening for himself before shooting just wide.

The numbers were evened up with ten minutes left as Sturaro was red-carded for pushing Helander in the face. Sweden had the perfect chance to win it when Mikael Ishak was brought down by Italy goalkeeper Francesco Bardi in the box. Kiese Thelin stepped up and converted and although Italy pushed hard, they could not conjure an equaliser.

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