Denmark 2 - 2 Sweden: Zlatan double puts Swedes through

Sweden's forward and team captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring his second. Picture: Getty
Sweden's forward and team captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring his second. Picture: Getty
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SWEDEN earned a ticket to the 2016 European Championship finals after drawing with Denmark 2-2 in the second-leg play-off in Copenhagen.

Denmark - 2

Poulsen 81, Vestergaard 90

Sweden - 2

Ibrahimovic 19, 76

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored both goals to put Sweden 2-0 ahead, and though Denmark’s Yussuf Poulsen and Jannik Vestergaard replied in the last 20 minutes, the Swedes advanced 4-3 on aggregate.

After a strong start by the Danes, Ibrahimovic ran free to heel in a flat corner kick in the 20th. A few minutes later, he missed another chance that Kasper Schmeichel saved.

Just before the break, Denmark captain Daniel Agger came close to conceding an own goal when stopping Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic, who has 19 career goals in Euro qualifiers, added a second from a free-kick in the 77th minute.

“We were the best in the play-offs,” said Ibrahimovic, who at age 34 is not expected to play internationally beyond Euro 2016 in France. “This is just fabulous,” he added.

A third-place finish in Group G behind Russia and Austria meant the Swedes’ only route to the championship was to defeat their neighbours and arch-rivals.

In the second half, the Swedes pushed the ball around while the Danes were chasing it. Denmark had several corners in the second half but failed to score. As the Nordic derby drew to an end, the Danes increased the pressure and scored twice.

When Denmark’s star forward Nicklas Bendtner left the pitch after a disappointing performance to be replaced in the second half by former Celtic striker Morten Rasmussen, he was booed off.

Denmark’s veteran coach Morten Olsen had said he would step down after 15 years in the job when his team’s campaign for Euro 2016 ended.

Police, including heavily armed SWAT team members, were seen around Parken Stadium. Fans were bodysearched and had their bags checked.

Sweden won the first leg 2-1 on Saturday in Stockholm.

DENMARK: Schmeichel, Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, Durmisi (Vestergaard 83 ), Højbjerg, Delaney (Krohn-Dehli 45’), Poulsen, Eriksen, Jørgensen, Bendtner (Rasmussen 60).

SWEDEN: Isaksson, Lustig, Johansson, Granqvist, Bengtsson (Olsson 86), Larsson (Hiljemark 81), Lewicki, Källström (Svensson 69), Forsberg, Berg, Ibrahimovic.