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Sunday, September 6, 1998 Published at 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK

Sport: Football

Awful England suffer Stockholm shocker

The glum faces on England's bench sum up the mood

Sweden 2-1 England

England suffered a defensive nightmare at the start of their European qualifying campaign as they collapsed to defeat in an incident-packed Group Five game in Stockholm.

[ image: Alan Shearer tries to console Paul Ince]
Alan Shearer tries to console Paul Ince
And for the second match in a row they were reduced to ten men, after Paul Ince was sent off for his second bookable offence.

The result continues England's sorry record against Sweden - it is now more than 30 years since they tasted victory in the fixture.

Shearer puts England ahead (Radio 5 Live)
Alan Shearer fired Glenn Hoddle's side into an ideal start after just 74 seconds - but two blunders in a two-minute period in the first half handed the initiative to the impressive Swedes.

First David Seaman did well to parry Stefan Schwarz's swerving 30th minute free-kick - but no one in the England defence picked up Andreas Andersson for the rebound, and his tame shot looped off Tony Adams into the net.

Two minutes later and England were behind.

Andersson equalises for Sweden (Radio 5 Live)
Pontus Kamark played a cross from the left into the box, Paul Scholes failed to make a proper contact and the ball ricocheted to Johan Mjallby, who was presented with the easiest of chances to head home.

The departure of Ince only added to Hoddle's woes.

The Liverpool midfielder, who was booked in the first half, was given his marching orders after 65 minutes following a late challenge on man of the match Henrik Larsson.

It had all begun so brightly for England.

[ image: Shearer celebrates firing the opening goal]
Shearer celebrates firing the opening goal
Michael Owen may have grabbed all the pre-match headlines in Stockholm, but it was his strike partner who made the initial impact on the pitch.

When England were awarded a free-kick five yards outside the box, Shearer curled a right-foot shot around the wall and Swedish keeper Magnus Hedman could only help the ball into the net.

Mjallby puts the home side ahead (Radio 5 Live)
Six minutes later the Newcastle striker headed over the bar as England, with Jamie Redknapp making a good impression on his return to the side after injury, began to take control.

But just as England looked like building on their superb start, it all went horribly wrong.

Radio 5 Live's Alan Green sums up the game
Sweden took advantage of some sloppy passing and Celtic striker Larsson started to run England's defence ragged.

After the break Mjallby and Andersson should have added to the score in the second half when they were presented with clear-cut chances, but both failed to make their headers count.

[ image: Sol Campbell battles with Andreas Andersson]
Sol Campbell battles with Andreas Andersson
In the 68th minute there were even more problems for the visitors, as Sol Campbell was forced off following a sickening clash of heads with Patrick Andersson.

England never looked like getting back in the match, although Owen, Gareth Southgate and Graeme Le Saux all had half-chances.

Shearer felt he should have had a penalty deep into injury-time.

But, on a night when so little went England's way, it was never to be.


England football fans were involved in a stand-off with Swedish riot police as they left the stadium.

A police spokesman said windows were broken by some fans. "The trouble was in the stadium, but it was not serious," he added.


Sweden: Hedman, Nilsson, Andersson, Bjorklund, Kamark, Schwarz, Andersson, Mjallby, Ljungberg, Larsson, Pettersson.

England: Seaman, Adams, Southgate, Campbell, Le Saux, Anderton, Ince, Redknapp, Shearer, Owen, Scholes

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