Sweden left to rue yet another missed opportunity; Olof Mellberg's effort goes in vain
England remained on course for a place in the knock-out rounds of Euro 2012 after coming from behind to send Sweden crashing out of the tournament with a 3-2 victory here on Friday.
Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored a well-taken winner for England in the 78th minute after the introduction of substitute Theo Walcott swung a see-saw Group D battle back in his side's favour.
England had got off to a dream start when recalled striker Andy Carroll headed it into a 23rd-minute lead.
But an own goal from Glen Johnson on 49 minutes followed by a header from Olof Mellberg in the 59th minute threatened to set up a disastrous night for Roy Hodgson's side.
However, the substitution of Walcott for James Milner changed the game. The Arsenal winger lashed in a 64th-minute equaliser to make it 2-2 and then provided the run and pass which set up Welbeck's winner.
Praise from Hodgson
Hodgson praised the way his side had fought back to win after trailing early in the second half.
England's first ever competitive victory over the Swedes means it will qualify for the quarterfinals with only a point in its final group game against co-host Ukraine in Donetsk next Tuesday.
England had started positively, Scott Parker forcing a fine save out of Andreas Isaksson after only seven minutes with a fine swerving effort from 20 yards that the Swedish 'keeper parried to safety.
Sweden, meanwhile, had to wait until 20 minutes before threatening the England goal, captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic letting fly with a long range shot that was blocked comfortably by Joe Hart.
Captain Steven Gerrard had clearly seen enough on 23 minutes.
Seizing possession in midfield the England skipper looked up to curl in a pinpoint long-range diagonal ball which the twisting Carroll met with a thunderous header that gave Isaksson no chance.
Sweden was forced to look for openings on the break and threatened to score when Ibrahimovic dispossessed the careless Johnson and played in Kim Kallstrom whose shot flew over.
The equaliser came after an Ibrahimovic free-kick bounced back off the wall and was played back to an unmarked Mellberg being played onside by Johnson.
The bearded centre-half's shot beat Hart and Johnson was unable to scramble out of his own net. Mellberg claimed it, but the equaliser was ruled an own-goal by Johnson. — AFP
Sweden 2 (Johnson 49-o.g., Mellberg 59) lost to England 3 (Carroll 23, Walcott 64, Welbeck 78)