Group Elimination D: Tuesday, 19 June 2012 - Kiev - Olympic Stadium
France meets with Sweden on the 19th at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev for a final Group D match up.
France demonstrated their prowess during the qualification stages with on Greece being able to penetrate their barrier. The France have one of the finest defensive lines in the UEFA today and amongst their Euro 2012 counterparts. France is far from the power they used to have ten or even six years back when they were able to reach the World Cup finals but even today, they remain a fairly strong team.
One problem however, is the French attack, although defense is strong as ever, their offensive is one of the weakest and the team is considered one of the lowest goal scorers playing in Euro 2012. “les bleus” are place at the second highest within their group at a rank of 16 behind England, the highest. But Sweden on the other hand, is only one rank below France at 17.
The Swedes already lost two Group D matches, one against England at 2-3 and against Ukraine at 2-1. The Swedes have solid defense with experienced players like Martin Olsson, Olaf Melber, and Andreas Issakson but there seems to be a lack in team work and this allowed the English to score a 3-2 win against them. Their attacking formation was decent and they quickly took the game early on against England but their drive eventually subsided.
Predictions: France wins 2-1
Both teams have an excellent defensive line-up but Sweden’s strong opposition might not be enough for France’s much superior defensive barrier. All France need to do is figure out a way to exploit the Swede’s weaknesses. The French, by far has done better than the Swedes beginning in the qualification stages up to the group matches where Sweden yet to make a win.
Euro Cup 2012 Highlights: Sweden Defeats France 2-0
Sweden defeated France 2-0 but,even with the loss France was able to advance to the quarterfinals.
France only needed a singlepoint from Tuesday’s match at the Donbass Arena to advance from group play. But the full three points would have seen Laurent Blanc’s team dodge Spain in the quarters. Now, they’ll need to dig up some confidence (good luck with all that) while they try to solve the Spanish passing riddle right away.
Les Bleus started slow and allowed Sebastian Larsson and Ola Toivenen early attempts on goal, but the Swedish pair both sent their headed efforts off target.
After the scoreless first half, the Frenchs came down strongly as Karim Benzema narrowly sent a shot wide of the post.
But it was the Swedes who broke the deadlock thanks to an amazing goal from captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Let’s talk about that Zlatan Ibrahimović goal (in the 54th). Most strikers wouldn’t even think to try such a thing, a twisting, scissors shot, where the ball winds up a little high and slightly behind him at almost 18 yards out. No problem for Ibrahimovic, who had the confidence to try that crazy shot and the athleticism and technical ability to pull it off. As ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman said: “You have got to be kidding me!” And Twellman hit some pretty decent goals in his day – so that’s quite a statement.
France pushed for an equaliser as firstly Yann M'Vila and then Jermey Menez tested Sweden stopper Andreas Isaakson.
Likely to be acquired by Arsenal, striker Olivier Giroud slotted a six-yard header wide late on before Larsson wrapped up the result for Sweden by finely converting the rebound after Christian Wilhelmsson's effort had struck the bar.
Now France will face defending champions Spain in the last eight on Saturday
EURO 2012: Sweden vs France Timeline
- 90+4' - It's 2-0 as the referee blows for full-time.
- 90+3' - The fourth official's board shows 4 minutes, which will be added to the Second half.
- 90+1' - Goal! Sebastian Larsson extends Sweden's lead to 2-0.
- 88' - Pedro Proenca has awarded France a corner. Florent Malouda takes the kick from the Right .
- 87' - France push forward at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex and Karim Benzema gets in a strike. This is blocked, however, by a determined Sweden defence.
- 87' - Sweden's Kim Kallstrom gets his shot away but it misses the target.
- 83' - Olivier Giroud (France) wins the ball in the air but heads wide.
- 83' - France have been awarded a corner by Pedro Proenca. Florent Malouda steps up to take it.
- 83' - Laurent Blanc is making the team's Third substitution at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex with Olivier Giroud replacing Yann M'Vila.
- 82' - France drive forward and Jeremy Menez gets in a shot. Without netting, however.
- 81' - Samuel Holmen (Sweden) has received a first yellow card.
- 79' - Erik Hamren (Sweden) is making a Third substitution, with Samuel Holmen replacing Anders Svensson.
- 78' - Sweden make their Second substitution with Pontus Wernbloom replacing Ola Toivonen.
- 77' - Jeremy Menez is replacing Samir Nasri for France at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex.
- 77' - France are pushing forward but Franck Ribery's finish is wide of the goal.
- 77' - France's Philippe Mexes gets in a shot but it is blocked by a Sweden defender.
- 76' - Corner awarded to France.
- 76' - France drive upfield and Karim Benzema gets in a shot. The strike is blocked by a Sweden defender.
- 74' - Florent Malouda for France gets in a strike but fails to hit the target.
- 72' - At Olimpiysky National Sports Complex Samir Nasri (France) takes a corner from the Right.
- 72' - France's Yann M'Vila gets in a shot on goal at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex. But the effort is unsuccessful.
- 70' - Anders Svensson for Sweden has been booked by Pedro Proenca and will miss the next match due to a suspension.
- 70' - Important block from the Sweden defence as Karim Benzema fires in a strike for France.
- 68' - Philippe Mexes (France) gets booked by Pedro Proenca, and will miss the next match due to the number of yellow cards received this season.
- 68' - In Kiev Sweden's Christian Wilhelmsson is caught offside.
- 66' - Franck Ribery (France) goes for goal but the shot is blocked by an alert defence.
- 65' - France's Samir Nasri breaks free at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex. But the strike goes wide of the post.
- 64' - In Kiev Florent Malouda for France takes a corner from the Right-hand flag.
- 60' - In Kiev France attack through Karim Benzema. The finish is off target, however.
- 59' - Florent Malouda is on a sub for Hatem Ben Arfa for France.
- 58' - Pedro Proenca has awarded Sweden a corner. Sebastian Larsson takes the kick from the Right .
- 58' - Sweden's Olof Mellberg is on target but unsuccessful.
- 58' - At Olimpiysky National Sports Complex Kim Kallstrom (Sweden) takes a corner from the Left.
- 57' - Christian Wilhelmsson for Sweden drives towards goal at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex. But the finish is unsuccessful.
- 54' - That's a fine assist from Sebastian Larsson.
- 54' - Goal! Zlatan Ibrahimovic gives Sweden a 1-0 lead in Kiev.
- 53' - Sweden drive forward and Sebastian Larsson gets in a shot. Without netting, however.
- 53' - Alou Diarra of France smashes in a shot on target. The keeper saves, though.
- 52' - In Kiev Samir Nasri for France takes a corner from the Left-hand flag.
- 51' - France's Karim Benzema misses with an attempt on goal.
- 49' - Sweden's Olof Mellberg is whistled for offside at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex.
- 46' - Christian Wilhelmsson of Sweden is pulled up for offside.
- 46' - Sweden make their First substitution with Christian Wilhelmsson replacing Emir Bajrami.
- 46' - The second half has started at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex.
- 45+1' - The ref's whistle signals the end of the first-half.
- 45' - Sweden's Ola Toivonen has run offside.
- 45' - Sweden's Ola Toivonen has run offside.
- 45' - France have been awarded a corner by Pedro Proenca. Samir Nasri steps up to take it.
- 45' - France push forward at Olimpiysky National Sports Complex and Franck Ribery gets in a strike. This is blocked, however, by a determined Sweden defence.
- 42' - Karim Benzema of France gets in a strike, but is off target.
- 40' - Samir Nasri for France is back on the field again.
- 39' - The match in Kiev is underway once more.
- 37' - Play has been interrupted briefly in Kiev to check on Samir Nasri, who is grimacing with pain.
- 35' - France are coming forward and Hatem Ben Arfa gets in a strike, it misses the target, however.
- 33' - Sweden drive forward but Ola Toivonen is judged offside.
- 27' - In Kiev, Karim Benzema of France is presented with a shooting opportunity. But the strike is blocked by the covering defence.
- 26' - France's Adil Rami misses with an attempt on goal.
- 19' - Sweden are coming forward and Sebastian Larsson gets in a strike, it misses the target, however.
- 18' - France are pushing forward but Karim Benzema's finish is wide of the goal.
- 15' - Karim Benzema for France is whistled offside.
- 14' - Corner awarded to France.
- 12' - Yann M'Vila for France gets in a strike but fails to hit the target.
- 11' - Ola Toivonen hits the post! Very nearly a goal there in Kiev for Sweden.
- 10' - France's Hatem Ben Arfa gets his shot away but it misses the target.
- 8' - France push forward through Franck Ribery, whose finish on goal is saved.
- 6' - Hatem Ben Arfa of France gets in a strike, but is off target.
- 4' - Sweden's Sebastian Larssongoes close with his head but his effort is blocked.
- 3' - Ola Toivonen of Sweden is pulled up for offside.
- 1' - Today's referee, Pedro Proenca, has blown to start the match.
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