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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Swedes chase spirit of '92
EURO HISTORY
Sweden's Henrik Larsson during Euro 2000
Best performance:
Semi-finalists 1992
Recent performances:
1980-88: Did not qualify
1992 SF 1996 Did not qualify 2000 R1
Sweden's proudest European Championship moment came on home soil in 1992.

The Swedes eased into the last four ahead of France - who had won every qualifying game on their way to the tournament - and England.

But in the semi-final, Germany deservedly beat the hosts 3-2, striker Karl-Heinz Riedle scoring a stunning brace in the match.

Sweden also qualified for Euro 2000 in Holland and Belgium, but their performance was a major disappointment.

The Swedes had stormed away with their qualifying group for Euro 2000, finishing ahead of Kevin Keegan's England.

But their preparations for the tournament were hindered by the loss of Pontus Kaamark and key midfielder Stefan Schwarz.

An ankle injury also limited the effectiveness of Kennet Andersson while Henrik Larsson had to try to play himself back into match fitness after his lengthy lay-off due to a broken leg.

Sweden had a difficult draw, meeting co-hosts Belgium in the tournament opener.

Backed by the home support, Belgium struck either side of half-time to record a 2-1 victory.

A disappointing goalless draw with Turkey left Sweden with it all to do against the impressive Italians, who by that stage had already qualified for the last eight.

Larsson gave them brief hope when he equalised an earlier strike from Luigi di Biagio, but as the Swedes pushed forward for the winner, Alessandro del Piero scored a stunning late goal for Italy.

It was rough justice on the Swedes who had a host of chances in the first half but could not convert them for the win that they needed.





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