IT WAS a desperately ill-fitting end to his days gracing the World Cup stage. Earning a 51st penalty only to then miss it in buttock-clenching fashion encapsulated Henrik Larsson's afternoon as Sweden crumbled against hosts Germany in Berlin yesterday. The second round tie belonged to a striker all right. But it was one in white - Lukas Podolski's two strikes inside 12 minutes easing Jurgen Klinsmann's men into the quarter-finals.
SWEDEN are relishing the chance of knocking hosts Germany out of the World Cup and gaining belated revenge for their 3-2 semi-final defeat on their own soil at Euro 92, coach Lars Lagerback said yesterday.
IT MIGHT have been the faintest of touches, but whatever contact he made with the long throw-in that eluded the England defence in Cologne was enough to send Henrik Larsson into an exclusive club which includes Pele and Diego Maradona.
ENGLAND failed once again to beat an old bogey in Cologne last night, but, to the obvious and deep relief of Sven-Goran Eriksson, at least on this occasion they suffered no harm.
HENRIK Larsson showed that an old dog doesn't need new tricks when he reproduced an old one to deny England victory here in Cologne last night. The veteran striker's uncanny sense of space served him well as he moved on to a long throw from Erik Edman on the left and flicked the ball almost imperceptibly to the left of goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
WHETHER it is advisable to finish first or second in Group B is a question that will occupy millions with England's World Cup interests at heart. Sven-Goran Eriksson and his players, however, will not be among them.
HENRIK Larsson is just one goal away from joining an exclusive club at the World Cup.
HENRIK LARSSON can see England going all the way to the World Cup final.
DELIRIOUS Swedish fans may not have noticed, but coach Lars Lagerback was as excited as he had ever been since taking charge of the team seven years ago, when Freddie Ljungberg's 89th-minute header crossed the Paraguay line to put Sweden within touching distance of a place in the last 16.
SWEDEN go into their crucial match against Paraguay tonight insisting their World Cup hopes are not being undermined by unrest in the camp.
SWEDEN captain Olof Mellberg has already conceded top spot in Group B to England and is viewing tonight's match against Paraguay as the decider for who takes the runners-up place.
RANGERS centre-back Marvin Andrews has been ruled out of Trinidad and Tobago's opening Group B game against Sweden tomorrow after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury.