World Cup 2010
Match Reports

Sweden 1-0 England
Nya Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, Sweden - Wednesday 31 March 2004

This was not a happy return for Sven-Goran Eriksson to his native country. Even before play had started there was disappointment in the England camp which was without several starters, not least captain David Beckham. Still this was an opportunity for a number of players to step in and state their case for a place in the squad for the upcoming European Championships.

The opening half was not particularly inspiring with the exception of Wayne Rooney, who was able to run at Sweden's defence but was not able to penetrate it. He provided England with their closest chance to score when he was challenged outside the area and England were given a free-kick. In the absence of Beckham, Owen Hargreaves stepped up and took the free-kick which saw the ball bend over Sweden's wall and agonisingly clip the crossbar. Rooney was again menancing Sweden close to the end of the first half when Lucic failed to clear a cross from Gerrard. The young Evertonian broke through Sweden's defence but unfortunately Isaksson got one of his legs to the ball and prevented the goal. England did have to make an early change to the team when Vassell had to leave the field through injury after only 12 minutes of play following a tackle by Mellberg. The Aston Villa forward was replaced by Jermaine Defoe.

During the half-time interval, Eriksson made a couple of changes at the back, with Southgate and Tottenham's Gardner replacing Terry and Woodgate. It was this defensive line-up which would let in a goal, but not before England tried their luck at Sweden's goal again. Defoe made a good 50 yard run with the ball to blast it into Sweden's net, but replacement goalkeeper Kihlstedt managed to tip the ball over the bar. When England's back line did fail it was to Ibrahimovic who was waiting to meet a Kallstrom cross, although the Swede was holding on to Southgate's shirt at the time. England were incensed that the goal was given due to this infringement. However, the goal was given.

Wilhelmsson almost made the scoreline 2-0 with 15 minutes remaining on the clock when he got by Phil Neville and fired a shot at England's goal, however James was there to make the save. England could have had a last minute equaliser but Joe Cole's attempt missed the target by a large margin.


Isaksson (Kihlstedt 46 mins), Lucic (Mellberg (Hansson 46 mins), Mjallby , Edman, Nilsson, Anders Anderson (Linderoth 46 mins), Anders Svensson (Kallstrom 46 mins), Wilhelmsson, Ibrahimovic (Ostlund 90 mins), Elmander (Jonson 46 mins).
Subs Not Used: Hedman, Christoffer Andersson, Dorsin, Farnerud.

James, P Neville, Terry (Southgate 46 mins), Woodgate (Gardner 46 mins), Carragher, Hargreaves (Jenas 60 mins), Gerrard (J Cole 60 mins), Butt (Parker 78 mins), Thompson (Smith 60 mins), Vassell (Defoe 12 mins), Rooney (Heskey 60 mins).
Subs Not Used: Robinson, Mills, Green, Walker, Samuel, Wright-Phillips. (Full Squad)

Match Details

Sweden Goal: Ibrahimovic (54 mins)

Sweden Caution: Edman
England Caution: P Neville

Referee: Tom Ovrebo (Norway)

Attendance: 40,464