Smiles better: Carroll repaid boss Roy Hodgson for handing him a start in the England team
The sight of Steven Gerrard giving England’s players a brief pep talk shortly before emerging from the tunnel for the second half gave the impression they were full of confidence.
But two soft goals, both conceded from set-pieces and scored by 34-year-old Olof Mellberg, and Hodgson was suddenly experiencing how uncomfortable life can be for an England manager at these tournaments.
What then followed again reflected well on Hodgson, however. If he has managed to instil anything into these players since succeeding Fabio Capello, it is a resilience and a determination that once again came to the fore.
This was a game that felt like a home fixture for the country that gave us super group Abba, with 20,000 Sweden fans inside Kiev’s Olympic Stadium.
Cities & Stadiums
The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments
|2008||Spain||Germany||Russia / Turkey|
|2004||Greece||Portugal||Netherlands / Czech Republic|
|2000||France||Italy||Netherlands / Portugal|
|1996||Germany||Czech Republic||France / England|
|1992||Denmark||Germany||Netherlands / Sweden|
|1988||Netherlands||Soviet Union||Italy / West Germany|
|1984||France||Spain||Denmark / Portugal|
|1972||West Germany||Soviet Union||Belgium|