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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Sweden's road to the finals
Swedish players surround Marcus Allback, after he scores during a qualifier
Team spirit and solidarity are important to the Swedes
BBC Sport Online examines how Sweden came through their group despite a slow start.

Drawn in a relatively poor group, Sweden still managed to look impressive as they qualified with 26 points from a possible 30.

And as England found in a friendly at Old Trafford in November, they are one of the hardest sides in the world to beat.

They began their campaign with a relatively low-key 1-0 win in Azerbaijan.

The second match promised to be crucial to their fortunes and a 1-1 draw against Turkey, rivals for the automatic qualification spot, looked to have hanicapped their efforts.

Qualifying campaign
W 1-0 Azerbaijan (a)
D 1-1 Turkey (h)
D 0-0 Slovakia (a)
W 1-0 Macedonia (h)
W 2-0 Moldova (a)
W 2-0 Slovakia (h)
W 6-0 Moldova (h)
W 2-1 Macedonia (a)
W 2-1 Turkey (a)
W 3-0 Azerbaijan (h)

A disappointing goalless draw at Slovakia followed and the Swedes needed a scrappy 1-0 win at home to Macedonia to get them going again.

But from there, the Scandinavians won six games on the bounce, scoring 17 goals and conceding just two.

Chief architect of those wins was Celtic's Henrik Larsson, who managed four at home to Moldova and scored eight goals in total during the campaign.

The most crucial of those wins came in Turkey where late goals from Larsson and Andreas Andersson secured their qualification.

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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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