Euro 2016 Grp E
Date: 8 p.m. June 22, 2016
Venue: Stade de Nice, Nice
Ref: Felix Brych (GER)
Att: 34,011

Scored: 84'
- Radja Nainggolan 84'



Euro 2016 Report: Sweden 0 - 1 Belgium

Fri, Jun 24 2016

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kim Kallstrom and Andreas Isaksson have all retired from international football in the aftermath of Sweden's Euro 2016 exit. Credit: Al Robinson

Sweden's 1-0 defeat to Belgium in Nice brought the curtain down on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's international career after 62 goals in 116 games.
 
Ibrahimovic declared before the start of Euro 2016 that “the legend can still deliver.” However, the 34 year old striker – linked with a move to Manchester United since leaving Paris St-Germain at the end of last season – failed to stamp his usual authority in France, failing to score, though he did create Sweden's solitary goal against the Republic of Ireland.
 
While Ibrahimovic's retirement will garner the majority of the headlines, it was also the end of the line at this level for midfielder Kim Kallstrom and goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson, with the latter performing heroics throughout the Belgium game to give his side hope of pulling off a shock victory. In the end, it would take something special to beat him.
 
Had fans in the stadium and at home been told the game would produce one magic moment, most would have backed Ibra to conjure it. 
 
Instead, it was Radja Nainggolan's 84th minute wonder strike which lit up the Stade de Nice and ensured a second place finish for the Belgians. Coupled with Robbie Brady's header 60 seconds later in Group E's other game, Ireland against Italy, that finished the Swedes in France and the international careers of Kallstrom, Isaksson and, of course, Zlatan.
 
It could have been quite different, of course, even up until one minute before Belgium scored. Andreas Granqvist looked to have broken the deadlock when he powered a header goalwards and beyond Thibaut Courtois, but Kevin de Bruyne had stationed himself on the line and dutifully headed clear.
 
Isaksson had denied de Bruyne, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku (more than once) by the time heartbreak arrived with just six minutes left on the clock – and there was nothing the Kasimpasa 'keeper could have done to prevent it. 
 
Eden Hazard beat his man on the left-flank and reached the byline, but then cut the ball back all the way across and outside of the box to Nainggolan who was one of three Belgian players queuing up on the edge. The Roma midfielder steadied himself before firing a perfect strike from range across the flying Isaksson to end the Swedish resistance. 
 
Ibrahimovic had a couple of half-chances during the match and there would be one last moment for him in the 86th minute. He chested a cross into the box and volleyed goalwards, but it flew just wide of Courtois's post. Failure to score here meant that Zlatan's Sweden career ended without a goal in his last five internationals, his longest barren run for his country.
 
Then, Hazard nearly made it crueller for the Swedes in stoppage time, but once again, almost in defiance to the last flickering light of his own international career, Isaksson denied him. To no avail.
 
 
Sweden: Andreas Isaksson; Victor Lindelof, Erik Johansson, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson; Sebastian Larsson (Jimmy Durmaz, 70), Albin Ekdal, Kim Kallstrom, Emil Forsberg (Erkan Zengin, 82); Marcus Berg (John Guidetti, 63), Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: Robin Olsen (GK), Patrik Carlgren (GK), Albin Ekdal, Pontus Jansson, Oscar Hiljemark, Pontus Welbloom, Ludwig Augustinsson, Emir Kujovic, Mikael Lustig, Oscar Lewicki.
Booked: A Ekdal (33), E Johansson (36).
 
 
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Thomas Meunier, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen; Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (Dries Mertens, 71), Radja Nainggolan, Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard (Divock Origi, 90+3); Kevin de Bruyne; Romelu Lukaku (Christian Benteke, 87).
Subs not used: Jean-François Gillet (GK), Simon Mignolet (GK), Jason Denayer, Mousa Dembélé, Michy Batshuayi, Christian Kabasele, Jordan Lukaku, Laurent Ciman, Marouane Fellaini.
Bookings: T Meunier (30), A Witsel (45+1).
 
 
Referee: Felix Brych (GER).
Attendance: 35,000.
Extratime Man of the Match: Andreas Isaksson (Sweden).


Sweden
Andreas Isaksson
Goalkeeper
Andreas Granqvist
Defender
Erik Johansson
36Booked: 36'
Defender
Victor Lindelof
Defender
Martin Olsson
Defender
Albin Ekdal
33Booked: 33'
Midfielder
Emil Forsberg
82'
82Subbed Off: 82'
Midfielder
Kim Kallstrom
Midfielder
Sebastian Larsson
70'
70Subbed Off: 70'
Midfielder
Marcus Berg
63'
63Subbed Off: 63'
Forward
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Forward

Substitutes
Ludwig Augustinsson
Defender
Patrik Carlgren
Goalkeeper
Jimmy Durmaz
70'
70Subbed On: 70'
Midfield
John Guidetti
63'
63Subbed On: 63'
Forward
Oscar Hiljemark
Midfield
Pontus Jansson
Defender
Emir Kujovic
Forward
Oscar Lewicki
Midfield
Mikael Lustig
Defender
Robin Olsen
Goalkeeper
Pontus Wernbloom
Midfield
Erkan Zengin
82'
82Subbed On: 82'
Midfield
Belgium
Thibaut Courtois
Goalkeeper
Toby Alderweireld
Defender
Thomas Meunier
Defender
30Booked: 30'
Thomas Vermaelen
Defender
Jan Vertonghen
Defender
Kevin de Bruyne
Midfielder
Yannick Ferreira Carrasco
Midfielder 71'
71Subbed Off: 71'
Eden Hazard
Midfielder 90'
90Subbed Off: 90'
Radja Nainggolan
Midfielder
84Scored: 84'
Axel Witsel
Midfielder
45Booked: 45'
Romelu Lukaku
Forward 87'
87Subbed Off: 87'

Substitutes
Michy Batshuayi
Forward
Christian Benteke
Forward
87Subbed On: 87'
87'
Laurent Ciman
Defender
Mousa Dembélé
Midfield
Jason Denayer
Defender
Marouane Fellaini
Midfield
Jean-François Gillet
Goalkeeper
Christian Kabasele
Defender
Jordan Lukaku
Defender
Dries Mertens
Forward
71Subbed On: 71'
71'
Simon Mignolet
Goalkeeper
Divock Origi
Midfield
90Subbed On: 90'
90'


Photo Gallery for Sweden -v- Belgium