Sweden won their group and were unbeaten over 90 minutes but their UEFA EURO 2020 campaign is over after falling in added time of extra time against Ukraine in the round of 16.
What were the positives?
From start to finish, Robin Olsen in goal was solid as a rock. Two 21-year old forwards also lit up Sweden’s EURO campagin: Alexander Isak began each match, his intelligence and technique proving a handful for opposing defenders throughout. Dejan Kulusevski showed vision and desire when he got to play, after recovering from illness.
Sweden’s win against Poland left the yellow and blue fans elated, while for the neutrals it contained the ingredients of tournament football at its best. Sweden’s lightning start, Poland rallying to level the match thanks to the great Robert Lewandowski, and then an added-time winner for Sweden that also sealed top spot in Group E ahead of Spain.
What the future holds
Things look bright for Sweden in the coming years. All of the players mentioned under the ‘positives’ heading have many years of football still in them and will only improve. The experience earned this time – including the devastating extra-time exit – will give this team a new readiness for the big stage next time around.
Predictions for the rest of EURO 2020
After 55 years, football might come home to its place of birth. I’ve liked what I’ve seen of England, and – should they come through the quarter-final against Ukraine – they’ll get to finish this EURO at Wembley. Belgium and Italy are unfortunate to have to play each other. The winners there definitely have a chance at the title. Dark horses: Switzerland, after that amazing win against France.