Sweden down Denmark to reach U21 EURO final
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Denmark 1-4 Sweden
Sweden will meet Portugal in only their second U21 EURO final after two goals in either half took them past their neighbours in Prague.
Article top media content
• Sweden beat Denmark to set up U21 EURO final meeting with Portugal
• John Guidetti and Simon Tibbling score in four first-half minutes for Sweden
• Guidetti now just one goal off his country's all-time leading U21 scorer Ola Toivonen
• Uffe Bech replies for Denmark before strikes from Robin Quaison and Oscar Hiljemark
• The final will take place at the Eden Stadium in Prague at 20.45CET on Tuesday
Sweden are through to only their second UEFA European Under-21 Championship final following a 4-1 defeat of Nordic neighbours Denmark.
The Swedes' triumph came largely thanks to a fine first-half display epitomised by Guidetti, a late flurry adding gloss to the scoreline. Considering a recent story in Sweden of Guidetti playing football in a Stockholm park with a young boy and his friends – on the night of the UEFA Champions League final no less – it is perhaps little surprise the No10 appears so unfazed by this far grander stage. Soon to be a free agent, he has no doubt attracted a few more admirers after a splendid hour's work here.
Guidetti was evidently unperturbed by taking his first-half penalty – awarded after Alexander Scholz was adjudged to have dragged down Isaac Kiese Thelin – in front of the pocket of Danish fans, coolly sending goalkeeper Jakob Busk the wrong way.
Three minutes later, Guidetti broke from his own half and ran at the Danish defence before showing great poise to pick out Tibbling. Jonas Knudsen's stumble allowed the Swedes' No16 to take a touch before slotting past Busk and the despairing lunge of Andreas Christensen.
Håkan Ericson had called for "the perfect game" and this opening 45 minutes was not far off. Though Denmark were initially in the ascendancy, Ericson's charges had soaked it up – Yussuf Poulsen's disallowed effort aside – before those two swift sucker punches. Poulsen and Jannik Vestergaard threatened with headers either side of the interval, but Jess Thorup was evidently in need of a Plan B.
He could scarcely have foreseen his team's route to halving their arrears, though, a series of ricochets inside a crowded penalty area following a corner eventually allowing Bech to poke past Patrik Carlgren.
Denmark were certainly buoyed but this is a Sweden side who scored two of their three group stage goals in the closing five minutes of games and had no shortage of late drama during qualifying – experts at the death.
Abdullah Khalili had nearly allowed them to breathe an earlier sigh of relief than normal, but instead it was Quaison's neat one-two with Mikael Ishak and finish through Busk's legs which allowed their sizeable travelling contingent to relax at last. Hiljemark's last-gasp goal on the counter merely served to send them into raptures.