Sweden overcame a torrid start to begin their UEFA European Under-21 Championship campaign with three points in their Group B opener.
It was Portugal who scored first through Hugo Almeida, just reward for early domination, but Swedish captain Johan Elmander produced cool finishes either side of half-time, and then made a goal for substitute Stefan Ishizaki to wrap up victory for Torbjörn Nilsson's side.
Both teams are aiming for their first overall triumph in this competition, and named strong sides. With Elmander missing out on Sweden's UEFA EURO 2004™ squad, he was able to continue his potent partnership with Haralampos Stefanidis, while Ricardo Costa played in the Portugal defence two days after watching from the bench as his FC Porto side won the UEFA Champions League final 3-0 against AS Monaco FC.
Portugal began at a rate of knots, showing their trademark fluent passing, and could have been more than 1-0 up at the half-hour mark. Five minutes in only a last-ditch tackle from Patrik Gerrband prevented a Hugo Almeida shot, and the Portuguese forward placed the ball over after a Mário Sérgio cross soon after.
Mário Sérgio, Lourenço and Hugo Almeida were all proving creative threats for Portugal, but Sweden's defending was staunch and chances were sparse. However, on 28 minutes, the goal finally came when Hugo Viana sent a beautiful pass from deep to the scurrying Mário Sérgio on the right. The deep cross allowed Hugo Almeida to scoop a header past the grasp of Swedish goalkeeper John Alvbåge.
Carlos Martins then shot just wide, but with ten minutes to go in the half Sweden seemed to wake up. Stefanidis was taking the game by the scruff of the net, and he made a fine equaliser as he broke from inside his own half and sent a pass into the path of Elmander, who calmly finished.
The second half began like the first, with Portugal in possession. Carlos Martins jinked past half-time arrival Ishizaki but shot over, but not long after this 49th-minute effort Sweden were ahead. Elmander was again the scorer. Johan Andersson pounced on the ball in midfield and sent a fine through-ball to the Brøndby IF summer signing, who took his time and sent an angled shot into the goal.
Danny and Custódio were introduced by Portugal as they sought to turn the game, and just before the hour Bosingwa sent in a speeding, curling shot from 35 metres that Alvbåge did superbly to save. Jorge Ribeiro also sent a bending effort past the far post, but 19 minutes from the end came a huge blow.
Elmander turned inside Ricardo Costa and squared the ball to Ishizaki, whose shot from outside the area sailed above Moreira and in. Mário Sérgio then rattled the crossbar with a free-kick, but despite all Portugal's fine moves and forward motion, they could not reduce the deficit.