A second-half penalty by Emil Forsberg ensured Sweden took a huge step towards qualifying for the last 16 at Euro 2020 with victory against Slovakia in Saint Petersburg.
RB Leipzig‘s Forsberg scored from the spot in the 77th minute of the Euro 2020 Group E clash. This was after substitute Robin Quaison was brought down by Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
The penalty ended a run of 365 minutes without a goal for Sweden at the European Championship. They had a barren spell since their opening group game back in Euro 2016.
Slovakia could have secured their spot in the knockout stages with a win. However, Sweden turned the tables by now moving into first place in Group E with four points. They now have one more point than Slovakia who face Spain in their final match.
This was the first meeting between the two nations at a major tournament.
Janne Andersson’s side came to life after the interval. Dubravka produced a superb save to keep out Ludwig Augustinsson’s header.
Isak turning heads at Euro 2020
21-year-old Alexander Isak – La Liga’s young player of the year starred as Sweden asserted themselves in the second half, which saw Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar produce an excellent sliding tackle to block Isak’s strike shortly after the restart.
Real Sociedad striker Isak, at 17, became his nation’s youngest scorer with a goal against Slovakia in a 2017 friendly. He forced Dubravka into action early, following an impeccable run.
That was one of six dribbles he completed in the game – the most by any player at Euro 2020 so far. It was Isak who played the ball into Quaison as he won the decisive penalty.
This defeat ended a six-match winning streak for Slovakia, who are one point ahead of Spain following La Furia Roja’s 1-1 draw against Poland.
The final round of Group E games takes place on Wednesday when Slovakia face Spain in a do-or-die qualification match. Sweden will look to secure the top spot when they take on Poland at Euro 2020 to wrap up the group.