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BotN: Sweden march on, out

The Back of the Net boys report on Sweden 2-0 France

Sweden recorded a majestic 2-0 win over France and sent a warning to the rest of Europe that they would be a force to be reckoned with were they not out of the competition.

Any chance of Sweden progressing to the quarter-finals was extinguished by a cruel 3-2 defeat against England, but despite Zlatan IbrahimovicâÂÂs attempts to convince his team-mates to "pop over to Turkey" instead of playing France, the Swedes turned up and put in a commanding performance in Kiev.

Having spent most of the first period asking coach Erik Hamren how much longer he had to stay, a sulky Ibrahimovic netted with a perfectly-struck volley early in the second half, living up to his reputation as an enigma by taking the form of a malevolent black cat to celebrate.


While the French knew that defeat could leave them facing Spain rather than Italy, they seemed unable to get a foothold in the game and were fully punished for some oddly casual defending.

Philippe Mexes was too engrossed in a dog-eared copy of Corinne MaierâÂÂs Bonjour Paresse to mark anyone at corners, simply calling out to SwedenâÂÂs strikers to "be so kind as to pull your own shirts and maliciously paw at your own crotches".

Meanwhile Gael Clichy was caught a mile and a half out of position for SwedenâÂÂs second goal, having attempted to sneak a visit to the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine, where he failed to impress, delaying a carefully orchestrated group tour by asking several banal questions about traditional Ukrainian looms.

France limp through to face Spain in the last eight, while Sweden march emphatically to Kiev Airport for a mid-afternoon flight to Stockholm.

More match reports from Back of the Net:
ITA 2-0 IRL: Italy live to use another cliché
CRO 0-1 SPA: Spain no longer any good, pundits revealPOR 2-1 HOL: Things starting to look bad for Dutch, admits Van Marwijk
GRE 1-0 RUS: UEFA hope Greece forget to claim their quarter-final slot

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