England's first game of the European 2000 qualifying stage got off to a great start in Stockholm when Shearer put the visitors ahead after just 76 seconds. Paul Scholes was brought down on the edge of the penalty area by Schwarz, from which England's captain took the resulting free-kick and scored - the ball going into the net via the right-hand post. This was the perfect start to the European campaign after the disappointment of this summer's World Cup Finals.
England appeared to be dominating the first period of the game and looked to have scored a second goal in the 14th minute but Michael Owen, chosen to partner Shearer, was ruled offside. Sweden plugged away at their game and slowly started to get more possession and create more chances. Sol Campbell prevented Seaman having to make a save from Andreas Andersson when he cleared away the Swedish players shot at goal. Unfortunately Andersson's attempts weren't always lame and he levelled the score on 30 minutes when his shot deflected off Adams to make the scoreline 1-1. Still, there was plenty of game time left for England to
go away with 3 points. These hopes were dashed though two minutes later when Mjallby gave the home team the lead. A mix-up between Seaman and Scholes was the cause of the goal when the Manchester United player tried unsucessfully to get the ball safely to his goalkeeper.
Three minutes before half-time, England were forced to make a substitution for Darren Anderton who was having problems with his knee. Rob Lee took over from the Tottenham Hotspur man. Meanwhile, Ince had been awarded a yellow card for a late tackle on Petterson.
Moments prior to the close of the first 90 minutes of the game, Sweden continued to cause trouble for England's defence but nothing came from their efforts. England too had chances to level the game with corner balls but could not bring the game back to level terms before the half-time whistle was blown. England went into the break one goal behind Sweden.
With the second half under way Sweden quickly went on the attack but goals weren't forthcoming. Then, Michael Owen broke free for England but was brought down in the final stages of the field by a Swedish defender. Claims for a free-kick were dismissed by the Italian referee.
Advantage was then with Sweden who went close to extending their lead a few times through Ljungberg, Andreas Andersson and Larsson. The game was tipped even further towards the homeside getting a victory when with under 25 minutes remaining, Paul Ince was dismissed for his second bookable offence - a high
tackle on Larsson. Ince became the 6th England player to receive a red card, and England's second this year.
Sweden are minutes later temporarily reduced to 10 men when Campbell and Patrik Andersson clash heads. Campbell appeared to be okay after initial treatment, but Andersson required stiches to his wound. It is apparent soon after though that Campbell could not continue and was replaced by Paul Merson.
Playing with an extra man, Sweden twice went close to taking the score to 3-1 but to no avail. England coach, Glenn Hoddle, decided to make a switch with four minutes to go, taking off Scholes and putting on Sheringham. The substitution almost had an immediate impact on the game when Sheringham's header reached Le Saux but Hedman saved from the Chelsea player.
In the dying moments of the game Shearer went down in Sweden's penalty area but the referee waved play on. The result stood at 2-1 in Sweden's favour. England have a month to sort out what improvements need to be made before their next game.
Hedman, Nilsson, P. Andersson, Bjorklund, Kamark (Lucic 83), Schwarz, A. Andersson (D.
Andersson 90), Mjallby, Ljungberg, Larsson, Petterson.
Subs not used: Kihlstedt, Sundgren, Erlingmark, Svensson, Zetterberg.
Seaman, Campbell (Merson 75 mins), Le Saux, Ince, Adams, Southgate, Anderton (Lee 43 mins), Redknapp, Shearer, Owen, Scholes (Sheringham 87 mins).
Subs Not Used: Keown, Martyn, Hinchcliffe, Wright.
Sweden Scorers: Andersson (30 mins), Mjallby (32 mins)
England Scorers: Shearer (2 mins)
Sweden Cautions: Schwarz
England Cautions: Scholes, Ince, Redknapp
England Dismissal: Ince (67 mins)
Referee: P Collina (Italy)