Sweden win group, send Poland home in last-ditch victory

    Swedish winger Emil Forsberg scored a double, including the second fastest strike in European Championship history, before Victor Claysson’s goal stopped Poland 3-2 on Wednesday and the top Group E-16 reached the final.

    Sweden will then face one of the third places in Group B, C or D – Finland, Ukraine or the Czech Republic – in Glasgow on 29 June.

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    Spain, who finished second after their 5-0 win over Slovakia in the other Group E match, face Croatia in Copenhagen a day earlier.

    It was a sad end to Poland’s campaign, as they drew twice with jailed captain Robert Lewandowski, whose 84th-minute 2-2 draw gave them a glimmer of hope.

    Sweden’s previous two games have been built on strong defensive screens that have cast doubt on whether Janne Andersson’s team could attack, but they made an amazing start through live Forsberg.

    After Robin Quaison controlled the ball on the edge of the penalty area, Forsberg collected a pass and took advantage of some bad defenders to take out goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with 82 seconds left.

    He doubled their lead with a strong move for the third goal of the tournament, after substitute Dejan Kulusevski reached the box to put it on a plate in the 59th minute.

    Lewandowski scored a goal back two minutes later with a round shot before Jakub Swierczok came on as substitute Przemyslaw Frankowski went offside after the intervention of Video Assiatant Referee.

    Lewandowski, who missed out on a chance to make it 1-1 in the first half after climbing over Sweden’s defense just to thunder two headers on the crossbar, was shot at the equalizer after a pass from Frankowski.

    But Sweden was not over yet, as Kulusevski slipped the ball to Claesson, who passed by Szczesny to secure the victory.

    “It was an emotional rollercoaster. It was 2-0 and as calm as it could be, then they came back into the game and scored two goals,” Claesson told Sweden’s TV4.

    “From 2-1, there is always pressure there. It is difficult to do anything but defend in these situations when they have such momentum. We hope to have a slightly easier opponent in the last 16.”

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