Sweden scrape past Slovakia to move top of Group E

Sweden needed a late penalty to defeat Slovakia at Euro 2020.

Emil Forsberg struck the spot-kick 13 minutes from time to breath life into a stale football match.

Up until then, Sweden had struggled to break down the Slovakia defence while Slovakia seemed happy to sit back and play for the draw.

Slovakia came close in the closing stages though. David Hancko’s shot was blocked before a 95th-minute penalty appeal was turned down by the video assistant referee.

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The result puts Sweden one point ahead of Slovakia at the top of Group E, with Spain meeting Poland on Saturday evening.

Neither team looked like threatening in the first half in what was the worst 45 minutes of football seen so far in the tournament.

Sweden striker Marcus Berg mishit a shot and Slovakia’s Juraj Kucka headed over the bar.

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It was Kucka again who forced Robin Olsen into a save on the hour mark before Ludwig Augustinsson’s header was stopped by Martin Dubravka at the other end.

Alexander Isak then wasted two excellent chances for Sweden. First, he headed just inches over the bar before his shot towards the bottom left corner was kept out.

Sweden won the penalty when Robin Quaison was felled by Dubravka when through on goal. Forsberg stepped up to send the ball into the right of the net to give the Swedes their first goal of the tournament.

Deep into stoppage time, there were appeals for a handball in the Swedish penalty area but, after a check with the video assistant referee, nothing was given.

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