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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Swedes satisfied with start
Niclas Alexandersson is congratulated by his team-mates
Alexandersson cashed in on a Mills mistake
Sweden's co-coach Lars Lagerback was left ruing his side's luck as they were held to a point by England on Sunday.

The Swedes came from behind to draw 1-1 in Sunday's Group F opener in Saitama.

But after a disjointed opening they dominated the second half and could have won but for several saves from England keeper David Seaman.

Lagerback said: "I have mixed feelings about the result because we created some good chances in the second half and with a bit of luck we could have won it.

"They didn't create many chances and we did very well in the second half.

"It's an OK start. We have to concentrate now and try to go and play well against Nigeria and, if we do that, we have a good chance to go on to the second stage."

The draw, sealed by Niclas Alexandersson's left-foot finish after 59 minutes, a goal he described as "wonderful", means England have still not beaten Sweden since 1968.

And Lagerback said that the familiarity of the opposition helped his side preserve that run.

He said: "One reason is that we have a lot of players playing in Britain.

"They know the character of the players they are up against. That is an advantage for us."

Open Quote
We were marvellous in the second half and should have taken the three points
Close Quote
Marcus Allback
Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg, who had been doubtful for the match, revealed he had suffered no adverse reaction to the hip injury that plagued his build-up to the game.

"Hopefully I can play every game, " he said, "but after this game I am very stiff."

On Sweden's second half revival Ljungberg said: "In the second half we got a lot more movement in our game and played better but we couldn't get a second goal after the equaliser.

"We're not happy with the way we played in the first half when England played a lot better than us."


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Sweden's Fredrik Ljungberg
"We are disappointed we didn't get 3 points"
Sweden goalkeeper Magnus Hedman
"We're not here to make up the numbers"
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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1




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