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Euro 2012: Sweden stuns Netherlands to sneak in

October 12, 2011

By Alex Camille

AMSTERDAM – Sweden halted the Netherlands’ perfect qualifying record Tuesday, beating the world’s top-ranked side 3-2 to advance to the European championships.

Lyon midfielder Kim Källström opened scoring in the 15th with a beautiful  free kick after Jeffrey Bruma had fouled Johan Elmander on the edge of the area.

The Netherlands leveled in the 23rd courtesy of a great link up between Klaas- Jan Hunteelar and Erik Pieters.  Huntelaar notched the equalizer off a brilliant header.

The beginning of the second half was the defining moment for both sides as three goals were scored in the space of 3 minutes.

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt was first to grab a goal in the 50th with an unstoppable header.

Two minutes later, Sweden equalized off Sebastian Larsson’s  penalty before PSV Eindhoven striker Ola Toivonen made it 3-2, smashing a diagonal shot from the end of the area.

Huntelaar almost scored his 31st international career goal after a corner from the left, but his superb header was parried by Andreas Isaksson.

A curling free kick taken by Rasmus Elm nearly surprised badly-positioned Michel Vorm as the match wore on but the Swansea shot stopper made a prompt reaction tipping the ball over the crossbar.

Sweden finishes second in Group E following Tuesday’s victory with 24 points from 10 games and qualifies for next year’s tournament as the best runner-up.
Despite losing its perfect record, the Netherlands will still be quite pleased with its qualifying campaign after recorded nine wins and one loss enroute to the finals.

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