Sweden beat Euro holders Greece 2-0

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Vienna, June 11: Sweden scored two second-half goals in the space of six minutes to beat holders Greece 2-0 in their opening group D match of Euro 2008 in Salzburg.


After a disappointing first half, Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced a stunning strike on 67 minutes and Petter Hansson bundled in the second from close range to seal a deserved win. Sweden now sit alongside Spain at the top of group D after Luis Aragones's side hammered Russia 4-1 earlier on Tuesday. A balmy evening turned into a cool night and the football was tepid in the first half with Greece content to play the ball across the back four and wait for a set-piece to hurt the Swedes. Ibrahimovic went closest to scoring in the first half when he flicked a header from Freddie Ljungberg's cross just over but the half-time whistle was a relief for all concerned.


The second half began in similar fashion, but Sweden always looked the more dangerous and on 67 minutes the match was lit up by a moment of brilliance from Ibrahimovic. The Inter Milan striker exchanged a 1-2 on the edge of the box with veteran striker Henrik Larsson, and Ibrahimovic then swept a beautiful strike from the edge of the box into the top corner. The second goal was all about poor defending and persistence from Hansson as Greece failed to clear a lofted pass and Hansson outjumped the Greeks to bundle the ball in off defender and goalkeeper.


Greece must now win their next match, against Russia on Saturday, to stand a chance of progressing from the group.

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