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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 21:30 GMT 22:30 UK
Holland end Swede dream

Arjen Robben scores the winning penalty
Sweden 0-0 Holland (AET)
(Holland go through 5-4 on penalties)

Holland reached the semi-finals with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Sweden.

The inspirational Arjen Robben scored the winning penalty after Edwin van der Sar saved Olof Mellberg's spot-kick.

Swedish keeper Andreas Isaksson had kept his side in the game, though he enjoyed some luck as well, notably when a Robben shot hit the post.

Sweden also hit the woodwork first through a Henrik Larsson volley and then Fredrik Ljungberg's low shot, but Holland were worthy winners.

It was the biggest moment of my life
Arjen Robben

Initially Holland had concentrated their attacks down the Swedish left, with the Chelsea-bound Robben prominent in the best of those Dutch attacking movements.

As early as the fourth minute Isaksson had to punch clear a Robben cross and soon after the Swedish goalkeeper did well to tip over the bar a shot from the Dutch winger.

A long-throw from the Dutch right was then flicked on by Philip Cocu to Ruud van Nistelrooy but his shot was bravely blocked by Mellberg.

Another feature of Holland's attacking play was the way Robben and Holland's other winger Andy van der Meyde frequently swapped flanks.

It was from the left wing that Robben broke inside and linked well with Van Nistelrooy, to set up a shot for Michael Reiziger.

Sweden v Holland
(Sweden took first penalty)
1-0: Kallstrom scores
1-1: Van Nistelrooy scores
2-1: Larsson scores
2-2: Heitinga scores
2-2: Ibrahimovic misses
2-3: Reiziger scores
3-3: Ljungberg scores
3-3: Cocu misses
4-3: Wilhelmsson scores
4-4: Makaay scores
4-4: Mellberg misses
4-5: Robben scores

Deprived of possession Sweden were restricted to a couple of tame efforts from free-kicks though just before the interval Mattias Jonson crossed for Anders Svensson, whose goalbound shot was blocked by Wilfred Bouma.

Ten minutes after the interval a Jaap Stam mis-kick landed at the feet of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the Swedish striker's shot was cleared by Cocu.

On 83 minutes Ibrahimovic set up substitute Kim Kallstrom, whose shot was superbly blocked by Johnny Heitinga.

As the game opened up Van Nistelrooy, who was isolated for long periods in the game, began to find more space.

Just past the hour Van Nistelrooy killed Clarence Seedorf's diagonal pass on his chest and the ball went just wide after the Dutch striker's shot rebounded off Isaksson.

Henrik Larsson of Sweden is consoled by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

In the closing stages of normal time Holland piled on the pressure and Van Nistelrooy and Roy Makaay went close.

Holland dominated the first period of extra-time, a Robben effort hitting the post after the swerve of the shot deceived Isaksson.

However the Swedish goalkeeper recovered himself as he dived low to fist away Seedorf's shot.

Isaksson made an even better save from a Seedorf free-kick when he flung himself to his right to get his hand to the ball.

But Sweden also went close, notably when Larsson swivelled and volleyed against the bar and then Ljungberg's low shot rebounded off the post.

Holland had lost penalty shoot-outs in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2000, but after Van der Sar threw himself to save Mellberg's effort, Robben calmly slotted the ball into the corner.

Sweden: Isaksson, Ostlund, Mellberg, Jakobsson, Nilsson, Jonson (Wilhelmsson 64), Linderoth, Ljungberg, Svensson (Kallstrom 81), Ibrahimovic, Larsson.
Subs not used: Hedman, Kihlstedt, Lucic, Mjallby, Hansson, Andersson, Farnerud, Allback, Wahlstedt.

Booked: Ibrahimovic, Ostlund.

Holland: Van der Sar, Reiziger, Stam, de Boer (Bouma 35), Van Bronckhorst, Davids (Heitinga 61), Seedorf, Cocu, Van der Meyde (Makaay 87), van Nistelrooy, Robben.
Subs not used: Westerveld, Waterreus, Kluivert, Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Overmars, Van Hooijdonk, Bosvelt, Zenden.

Booked: de Boer, Van der Meyde, Makaay.

Attendance: 30,000.

Referee: Lubos Michel (Slovakia).

Category Sweden Holland
Total shots 16 23
Shots on target 7 9
Possession 40% 60%
Corners won 5 10
Fouls committed 22 27
Offsides 5 3
Bookings 2 3
Sent Off 0 0


  • The Dutch starting line-up was their oldest ever at a major championship (29 years, eight months and eight days on average). Only two line-ups in any match involving the Dutch had been older. In comparison, the Swedish line-up was around two years younger on average.
  • The penalty shootout was the 11th in the history of the European Championship. It was the fifth at a major tournament for the Dutch but they won for the first time. Only Romania and Yugoslavia have never won a shootout at a major tournament.
  • Dick Advocaat took control of his 54th match as Dutch trainer - a record for modern times.
  • Henrik Larsson, Olof Mellberg and Fredrik Ljungberg played their seventh European Championship match, equalling the Swedish record set by Joachim Björklund.

    Links to more Euro 2004 stories



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