[EURO 2012 WRAP] Theo Walcott needed only half an hour to engineer England's rally past Sweden, aided by Danny Welbeck's
finishing touch. The 3-2 final eliminated Sweden. France beat Ukraine 2-0 following a rain delay ....
Normally, co-hosts involved in a game delayed on their own soil is news of the day, it was, until England beat Sweden in a game that saw two lead changes in Kiev.
Sweden was eliminated by England in the Ukrainian capital, but not before taking the lead in the second half. Andy Carroll opened the scoring in the 24th minute; Glen Johnson was given an own goal in the 49th trying to keep out a ball going in off Joe Hart. Olof Mellberg saw Sweden from down a goal to leading within five minutes, but it had no answer for Theo Walcott’s best 30-minute stint in an England shirt. Walcott scored from outside the box three minutes after stepping on the field, and his nice cross coolly finished by Danny Welbeck in the 78th, minute, sees the English bandwagon purring once again.
Ukraine waited an hour to avoid the rain, only to be outclassed France. The delay didn’t seem to bother the Les Bleus, up and down against England, who resembled the team many expected to compete for the title at Euro 2012. Kareem Benzema assisted Jeremy Menez in the 53rd minute, and Yohan Cabaye three minutes later. (Menez saw a first-half goal disallowed for offside.) France had 11 shots on target, with only 2 from Ukraine, things could’ve been worse. France and England both look strong at the top, as either will go through with a win or a tie, but Ukraine will still advance with a win.
England face Ukraine on Tuesday, while Sweden plays France in a game important to all but the Swedes.
Did you know? …
* Sweden was the second team eliminated from Euro 2012; Ireland was eliminated on Thursday.
* This was the 23rd straight game for France without a loss.
* This was England’s first win over Sweden in official competition.
* Walcott’s goal was the first scored by sub in England’s Euro Championship history, and his first at a major tournament.
* Johnson’s own goal was England’s first at a major tournament since 1954.
* Through two entire rounds of group play, and 14 games, still no scoreless ties.