Sweden vs. England: 6 Things We Learned from Group D Clash

Peter Webster@@petercwebsterContributor IIIJuly 28, 2016

Sweden vs. England: 6 Things We Learned from Group D Clash

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    Euro 2012 went goal-crazy today as Sweden succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against a resilient England side in Group D.

    After Andy Carroll opened the scoring for England, Sweden came out a different side in the second half—scoring two goals in the opening 15 minutes after the break.

    But England were not to be thwarted.

    Theo Walcott came off the bench to make one and score one as Danny Welbeck struck a fancy 78th minute winner.

    Here are six things we learned from the result.

Sweden Are out

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    Following France's victory against Ukraine, Sweden knew that defeat to England would mean the end of the tournament for them.

    While they still have the formalities of playing France next week, the result is arbitrary for Sweden who join Ireland as the second team to be knocked out of Euro 2012.

England Just Need a Point to Progress

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    England are now second to France in Group D thanks to goal-difference.

    Both nations are set to four points to Ukraine's three. Sweden are still to even register a point.

    A draw—or better—result for England against Ukraine next week would see them through to the knockout stages of the competition.

Roy Hodgson Could Be a Tactical Genius

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    A lot has been made of Roy Hodgson's appointment as England manager, but there can be no arguing with his tactical forethought today.

    With Sweden having conceded goals from headers in their previous few games, Hodgson opted to start with Andy Carroll up front.

    The Liverpool striker opened the scoring with a powerful header before England were pegged back by Sweden. So what's plan B, Roy?

    The answer was the introduction of Theo Walcott who scored one and made one in his 30-minute cameo.

    Hodgson got it spot on, despite the obvious defensive issues.

England Are Entering a New Era with Record-Breaking Side

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    Hodgson has merged old favourites with fresh blood in this new-look England side.

    The result is a team that harbours no expectations from England fans—and that could work in England's favour.

    England's victory over Sweden is the first time that they have recorded such a result in competitive football...EVER...making Hodgson's men trend setters of the modern era.

There Is Belief in the England Team

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    After scoring first and then going 2-1 down against Sweden, it wouldn't have been surprising to see the old England roll over and die.

    Not this England.

    The character it requires to overcome such adversity is testament to the fact that England's players still believe in themselves.

    It gives great hope for the tournament going forward.

England Could Face Spain

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    If things stay as they are, England could be set to face Spain in the first knockout stage.

    France currently have the same points as England but enjoy a better goal difference (+1), with the runners-up of Group D set to face the winners of Group C.

    While Spain, Croatia or Italy could still yet win Group C, Spain are the firm favourites to head the group.

    England themselves could still bypass France in Group D, but a showdown with the World and European champions is firmly on the cards.

    It's a nerve-racking time to be an England fan, but then again...when isn't it?