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Thursday, 13 June, 2002, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Swedes toast 'miracle'
Sweden fans celebrate in Stockholm on Wednesday
Sweden fans celebrate in Stockholm on Wednesday

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In a World Cup full of surprises, the Swedish press is celebrating what it considers to be the biggest of them all.

"The miracle in Miyagi. It can't be called anything else," says Expressen newspaper of the 1-1 draw that knocked out Argentina and saw Sweden finish top of Group F.

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His shot could be heard all the way to Buenos Aires, his shot made Roberto Carlos go for immediate shooting practice last night
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Expressen newspaper

"What a free kick, what a beautiful free kick by Anders Svensson. You must have heard it at home. The miracle was completed and Anders Svensson can walk on water for the rest of his life.

"His shot could be heard all the way to Buenos Aires, his shot made Roberto Carlos go for immediate shooting practice last night.

"His shot was so superb that Argentine goalkeeper Pablo Cavallero could barely touch the ball, his shot put Sweden 1-0 up, his shot bloody well brought down Argentina."

Expressen was one of many newspapers to demand a place for Sothampton's Svensson in the Sweden team after his axing from the starting line-up against England.

"Swedish football teams have achieved great things before, but no achievement could surely be bigger than the one in Miyagi this Wednesday," says Svenska Dagbladet.

"The footballing world might be grieving today, but eight million Swedes are cheering," is Aftonbladet's take.

"The World Cup favourites Argentina out, Sweden in to the last 16. It shouldn't be. It is."

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I won't rule out the possibility of us going far, very far
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Goran Persson
Swedish prime minister

The paper reports that Swedish prime minister Goran Persson was kept informed of the match developments as he sat in a European Union meeting.

"With discipline and good tactics a team like Sweden can progress. I won't rule out the possibility of us going far, very far," Persson said.

Another paper, Dagens Nyheter, says: "It was no less than a fantastic feat: top of the World Cup's 'Group of Death', still undefeated.

"The incredible battle against Argentina sent home one of the odds-on favourites, and sends a Swedish sound around the whole footballing world."

Meanwhile, Scandinavian neighbour Norway, whose team failed to reach their third World Cup in a row, is living off the glory of the Swedes and the Danes.

Norway's biggest tabloid VG writes: "Sweden and Denmark might meet in the semis of the World Cup. It's no longer inconceivable.

"The football World Cup has become a Nordic humiliation of the favourites. And we are the Nordic North!"

The newspaper finishes its report with the last line in the Swedish national anthem: "Oh, may I live, may die in the Nordic North!"


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Sweden goalkeeper Magnus Hedman
"Football is a lot closer these days"
Sweden's Anders Svensson
"To come top of the group feels fantastic"
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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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