Forsberg Penalty Sinks Slovakia, Moves Sweden Closer to Qualification

A successful penalty kick in the later stages of the game made the difference between Sweden and Slovakia. The Blagult improve to four points in Group E, while Marek Hamsik and teammates stay at three after the win over Poland.

The first half was rather uneventful, but Sweden was slightly more proactive, as was the case for the entire contest. However, they did not produce major chances in the first 45 minutes. Slovakia had a decent final push, but Martin Koscelnik and Ondrej Duda could not make the right plays in the box.

Sweden significantly improved after intermission. Ludwig Augustinsson threatened to score with a header, but Martin Dubravka answered the bell. At 60th minute, Alexander Isak flicked it on for Marcus Danielson, and the defender could not find the target from close range. The Real Sociedad forward had the most brilliant action of the game ten minutes later. He slalomed through multiple defenders in a lengthy sprint from midfield, but the goalkeeper denied him in the one-on-one.

At the 75th minute, Robin Quaison eluded the offside trap, and Duvrabka came out of with imperfect timing, bringing him down. He guessed right on the penalty kick, but Emil Forsberg perfectly put it just outside of his reach. The reaction by Slovakia was limited to some misplaced crosses and imprecise headers that did not challenge Robin Olsen. Juraj Kucka fired a long-range effort over the crossbar at the buzzer. Sweden will play out their schedule versus Poland, while Slovakia will take on Spain next.