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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
England 'too predictable'
Niclas Alexandersson equalised after 59 minutes
Sweden celebrate scoring the equaliser

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Sweden's Magnus Hedman branded England's long-ball style "predictable" after the two teams drew in Sunday's World Cup clash.

Coventry City goalkeeper Hedman was in optimistic mood after the Swedes bounced back to earn a 1-1 draw and leave England's hopes of qualification hanging in the balance.

But Hedman delivered a more generous verdict on England captain David Beckham - and admitted he was relieved when he was substituted 62 minutes into his comeback after a broken foot.

He told BBC Sport Online: "We knew England would play like they did, using Emile Heskey's power in the air.

GRAPHIC ANALYSIS
"It can be quite predictable. That way of playing is based a bit on chance, with knock-ons and Owen motoring through.

Hedman added: "English football is always very aggressive for the first 20 minutes and we played too many short balls.

"In the end it was a good result for us, although maybe tomorrow we might look ourselves in the mirror and say we should have won."

Hedman was impressed with Beckham's return, although the England star admitted he was still feeling his foot injury.

"I thought David Beckham did very well. It was a big relief for us when he went off.

"Having a player like Beckham on the pitch for the last 20 minutes means you have a player who can turn things around for you.

"He did well and showed what he is capable of when he damaged us with his delivery for the goal.

"He was impressive, but he will obviously miss the match fitness after so long out."

David Beckham and Freddie Ljungberg
Beckham was the only 'unpredictable' Englishman

Hedman also singled out David Seaman for praise, and said: "Anyone in England who questions the ability of David Seaman doesn't know a lot about football.

"Seaman is the one who kept England in the game and if they had lost it would have been difficult to qualify.

"Without David Seaman there is no doubt Sweden would have won that game 3-1." Hedman also believes the familiarity of Sweden's players with the English Premiership helped them launch a second-half counter attack which could have brought a vital victory.

Goalscorer Niclas Alexandersson and Tobias Linderoth play at Everton, while Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg and Aston Villa's Olof Mellberg also ply their trade in England.

He said: "It always helps when you are playing against players you have played against before, and it definitely helps when we are used to the English way of playing.

"Now we are confident we can get better. The key for us was not to lose the first game, and of course we are happy we have done that.

"We've got Nigeria and Argentina to come, and even though we know Argentina have some top, top players, we have to hope we can produce a performance like we did in the second half against England."


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 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson
"We couldn't stand Sweden's pressure"
Sweden goalkeeper Magnus Hedman
"We're not here to make up the numbers"
Sweden coach Lars Lagerback
"England didn't create many chances"
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ENGLAND V SWEDEN
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Full coverage:
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 SQUAD PROFILES

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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