Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be an accomplished player but once again, he failed to inspire his Sweden team on their last Group E match as they fell 0 – 1 to Belgium on Wednesday 22 June as Radja Nainggolan scored a late goal to see the Belgians advance.
Belgium went to the game as favorites and showed early intent with Jan Vertonghen barreling down the left, but his delivery was over-hit and two minutes later Yannick Carasco did well to escape trouble in his own half, find De Bruyne and the Man City man spread play to Hazard on the left. He cut inside and teed up Witsel, who blasted high and wide.
Kevin De Bruyne then skipped past two Sweden challenges and found Lukaku in the left channel. He squared up Johansson, but the defender got a block on the shot, earning a Belgium corner. De Bruyne delivered and it wass flicked on by Witsel but Vertonghen couldn’t react quickly enough to turn home.
Sweden had a good start and a chance for Berg may have been saved by Courtois, but at least it was a shot on target at this tournament for Sweden.
A rare sight of goal for Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on the 59th minute as he got his head on a cross from Kallstrom, but it was asking a lot to score from 14 yards with little pace on the ball – even for Zlatan.
Sweden were well dominated but managed to create chances of their own. On 59 minutes Ibrahimovic and nearly put Forsberg in but Courtois was alive to the danger and the ball went through to the goalkeeper.
Belgium had an appeal for a spot-kick rejected as Meunier’s cross was blocked by Granqvist’s arm – it would have been extremely harsh if given and referee Felix Brych waved play on as the ball was hit from point-blank range.
Ibra then forced Belgium keeper Courtois to a great save on the 76th minute and on the other end Romelu Lukaku had a good turn and shot that flew just wide.
Sweden badly needed a win in the game and pushed forward with Kim Kallstrom forcing Kevin de Bruyne to a goal line clearance.
The game turned on its head on the 84th minute with Radja Nainggolan’s stunning hit after receiving a pass from Hazard beat Issakson in the Sweden goal after taking a slight deflection for the opener.
The goal saw Belgium advance as Sweden, who needed a win at all cost, heads back home with just a point to show from the tournament.