Spain v Sweden, 14 June 2008

Score2-1 to Spain
RefereePieter Vink
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group D
VenueTivoli Neu Stadion, Innsbruck
Attendance30,000
Kick-Off: 6.00pm local Assistant referees: Adriaan Inia (Netherlands) Hans ten Hoove (Netherlands) Fourth official: Craig Thomson (Scotland) Man of the Match: David Villa (Spain) David Villa struck two minutes into stoppage time as Spain defeated a stubborn Sweden 2-1 at the Stadion Tivoli Neu in Innsbruck to guarantee their presence in the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-finals as Group D winners. The game looked like ending in a draw after Zlatan Ibrahimović's second goal in as many games had wiped out Fernando Torres's 15th-minute opener on a chilly evening in the Austrian Alps. Yet Villa, the scorer of a hat-trick in the opening triumph against Russia, had other ideas as he raced on to Joan Capdevila's pass and dispatched it low into the net. Russia's later 1-0 win against Greece confirmed Spain's progress and completed a clean sweep of groups clinched with a game to spare after the efforts of Portugal, Croatia and the Netherlands. To earn a quarter-final against the Dutch, Sweden must now get at least a point against Russia here on Wednesday. Spain coach Luis Aragonés surprised no one by selecting the same XI that had started the Russia game, but there were only hints of the devastating fluidity of that 4-1 win as Sweden hustled and harried effectively. Ibrahimović could even have given Lars Lagerbäck's side the lead inside the opening minute only for the FC Internazionale Milano striker's normally assured touch to escape him when well placed inside the box. Spain, playing towards the red-and-yellow masses of their supporters behind Andreas Isaksson's goal, did give flashes of the form which has seen them billed as potential champions. Andrés Iniesta's snaking run and strike had already had the Sweden goalkeeper scrambling, but Isaksson was powerless as Torres poked the Iberians in front on the quarter-hour. Villa threw the Swedish defence off balance as he unexpectedly flicked a short corner to David Silva, and the left midfielder had time to angle a ball to Torres who lunged in to turn in his first UEFA European Championship goal. The Swedish riposte was almost instant, Johan Elmander ruffling the side-netting after he had latched on to a delightful Henrik Larsson flick. It was a warning to Spain though and – after the injured Carles Puyol had been replaced by Raúl Albiol on 24 minutes – their defensive frailties were again exposed. Elmander's searching ball from the right found Ibrahimović unmarked at the far post, and though he again failed to control cleanly, a slip by Sergio Ramos allowed him to turn and fire low past Iker Casillas. With Ibrahimović failing to emerge for the second half, Sweden lost momentum, and it was Spain who threatened to break the deadlock soon after the hour. Silva and Villa's neat interchange of passes led to the former's shot being parried by Isaksson, who then took a nasty blow in the face as he bravely blocked Villa's follow-up. As the Sweden No1 lay grounded, Torres had sent a left-footed drive goalwards but Daniel Andersson made a timely block. Isaksson recovered sufficiently to brilliantly turn behind Marcos Senna's low drive in the 68th minute as Spain poured forward. Though the game was being played exclusively in their half, Sweden could have grabbed a late winner as Peter Hansson turned a free-kick back across the goal where Larsson arrived just too late to turn it in. Instead the glory went to Villa, the tournament's leading scorer on four goals. Whatever happens against Greece in Salzburg on Wednesday, Spain will meet the Group C runners-up on Vienna on 22 June.

2  Spain

Manager: Luis Aragones

1  Sweden

Manager: Lars Lagerback

Goals:

Fernando Torres 15 G
David Villa 90 G

Goals:

Zlatan Ibrahimović 34 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas (captain)
Defender Joan Capdevila
Defender Carlos Marchena
Defender Carlos Puyol
Defender Sergio Ramos
Midfielder David Silva
Midfielder Andres Iniesta
Midfielder Marcos Senna
Midfielder Xavi
Forward Fernando Torres
Forward David Villa

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson
Defender Daniel Andersson
Defender Petter Hansson
Defender Olof Mellberg
Defender Fredrik Stoor
Midfielder Freddie Ljungberg (captain)
Midfielder Mikael Nilsson
Midfielder Anders Svensson
Forward Johann Elmander
Forward Henrik Larsson

Substitutions:

Raúl Albiol for Carlos Puyol 24
Cesc Fabregas for Xavi 58
Santi Cazorla for Andres Iniesta 59

Substitutions:

Markus Rosenberg for Zlatan Ibrahimović 46
Seb Larsson for Johann Elmander 79
Kim Källström for Henrik Larsson 87

Cards:

Carlos Marchena 54 Y

Cards:

Anders Svensson 55 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Andres Palop
Goalkeeper Pepe Reina
Defender Álvaro Arbeloa
Defender Juanito
Defender Fernando Navarro
Midfielder Rubén de la Red
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas
Midfielder Raúl Albiol
Midfielder Santi Cazorla
Midfielder Xabi Alonso
Forward Daniel Guiza

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Rami Shaaban
Goalkeeper Johan Wiland
Defender Mikael Dorsin
Defender/Midfielder Seb Larsson
Midfielder Kim Källström
Midfielder Tobias Linderoth
Forward Marcus Allbäck

Comments:

- David Villa's strike was the second winning goal at Euro 2008 that was scored in injury time, following Arda Turan's winner for Turkey against Switzerland. -- There have now been seven winning goals in the 90th minute or later (excluding extra time) in the history of the European Championship. --- Three of these goals have been scored by a Spanish player. Antonio Maceda, in the 0-1 win over West Germany on 20 June 1984, and Alfrono, in Spain's 4-3 victory over Yugoslavia on 21 June 2000, were the others. - David Villa is the top scorer of the Euro 2008 tournament, and now Spain's record goal scorer at European Championships with four goals. He has netted a combined seven goals at European Championships and World Cups, more than any other Spanish player. - Spain extended their unbeaten streak in all competitions to 18 matches (16 wins, two draws). Their last defeat was against Romania (0-1) on 15 November 2006. Romania is a possible opponent for Spain in the quarter-finals. - Spain are on a streak of eight straight wins. Their record of nine dates back to the 1920s. They have also won six competitive matches in a row. Their national record is seven. - This was Luis Aragones' 50th match as Spain's head coach. Spain have won 35, drawn 11 and lost just four of his matches in charge. - Carlos Marchena's yellow card was Spain's 50th card in European Championship history, a total made up of 49 yellow and one direct red. Only Germany (55) and the Netherlands (51) have received more cards.

Comments:

- Sweden suffered their first loss at the European Championship since 19 June 2000 against Italy (2-1), a streak of five matches.