Sunday 23 September 2018

Janne Andersson salutes Sweden for reaching knockout stages of World Cup

Sweden will face Switzerland while Mexico play Brazil in the last 16.

Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist scored from the spot. (John Walton/PA)
Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist scored from the spot. (John Walton/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Janne Andersson praised his Sweden side as they reached the second round of the World Cup and helped dump Germany out.

Ludwig Augustinsson’s strike, Andreas Granqvist’s penalty and Edson Alvarez’s clumsy own goal gave Sweden a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Mexico.

The Scandinavians topped Group F after starting Wednesday third, needing to better Germany’s result to qualify for the knockout stages, where they will play Switzerland.

Germany’s shock 2-0 defeat to South Korea – which eliminated the defending champions – allowed Mexico to progress too.

“We have handled the things that have happened – I’m so incredibly proud, moved almost, by the thought of how we performed in the match,” Sweden boss Andersson told a press conference.

It was Sweden’s biggest win in a World Cup match since 1994, when they beat Bulgaria 4-0 in the third-place play-off match.

They had to wait until the second half for the breakthrough after being denied a penalty before the interval after Javier Hernandez handled.

Augustinsson struck in the 50th minute and Granqvist smashed home a penalty seven minutes later after Hector Moreno fouled Marcus Berg.

Alvarez completed Mexico’s poor day on the pitch with a calamitous own goal but they survived in Russia thanks to South Korea’s win over Germany.

Jesus Gallardo’s yellow card after 13 seconds – the World Cup’s fastest booking – should have given Mexico an idea they were in for a tricky time.

Mexico – who will play Group E winners Brazil – reached the second round as runners-up but boss Juan Carlos Osorio insists he was stung by the result.

“We qualified because we beat Germany and Korea but nevertheless I am very hurt,” he said.

“For the first time in many, many games when we play against a team that play that approach, direct football, we had this formation.

“Usually we play three at the back with a midfielder in front to protect. Today I decided to play four and we didn’t succeed in our penetration in the last third – and we allowed them to score three goals which I think is too many.

“My feelings in the last few minutes, my feelings in general, were that I wasn’t too happy with the way we defended at all.”

Press Association

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