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Sweden and Denmark through to quarters
Updated: 2004-06-23 08:41

Mattias Jonson's scrambled goal a minute from time has earned Sweden a 2-2 draw with Denmark that sends both Scandinavian rivals through to the Euro 2004 quarter-finals at the expense of Italy.

Team fans for Sweden and Denmark celebrate outside Bessa stadium in Porto June 22, 2004.[Reuters]

Italian conspiracy theories had suggested the two sides would set up the 2-2 draw that suited both but there was never any suggestion of that on Tuesday as the teams tore into each other in a full-blooded contest.

Two Denmark soccer fans show a banner outside the Bessa stadium in Porto, June 22, 2004, in their last Group C Euro 2004 soccer match. [Reuters]

Sweden, Denmark and Italy all finished on five points in Group C, with the Swedes top on goals scored. Sweden play the Group D runners-up, Germany, the Netherlands or Latvia, in the last eight, while the Danes face the Czech Republic.

"Fantastic, fantastic, it's a feeling of joy that you just can't describe," said Sweden striker Henrik Larsson.

Sweden looked to be heading out of the tournament as Denmark led 2-1 thanks to two goals from striker Jon Dahl Tomasson.

The Swedes had already recovered once with a Larsson penalty, though, and were rewarded for their resilience when Jonson pounced on a loose ball to beat Thomas Sorensen from eight metres.

Both sets of fans cheered and danced as Sweden played keep-ball to close out the game and the two teams threw themselves skidding across the pitch to celebrate.

There was no hint of a friendly fix at the start of the game, as the tackles came flying in from both sides.

Fizzing runs

With the ball skidding around on a pitch that had already been watered before kickoff, Denmark worried their opponents continually with sharp balls through the middle and the fizzing runs of wingers Jesper Gronkjaer and Martin Joergensen.

Gronkjaer popped up to take Tomasson's pass on 14 minutes and fire a shot into the side netting.

With Sweden sitting deep, Denmark continued to attack and Tomasson claimed the opener just before the half-hour mark with a spectacular dipping shot from 20 metres.

Sweden nearly equalised twice at the end of the first half, with defender Olof Mellberg and midfielder Jonson both sending in dangerous headers from corners, and they were level within two minutes of the re-start through Larsson.

The recently returned striker raced on to a ball in the penalty area and was brought down by Sorensen. Larsson then stepped up to score his third goal of the tournament.

Sweden enjoyed a period of dominance but outstanding goalkeeping by Sorensen kept Denmark in the game, and Tomasson's sharpness brought further reward after 66 minutes.

Substitute Kasper Bogelund had an effort half blocked by the defence and the ball fell straight to Tomasson who slipped a low shot past Isaksson from eight metres for his third goal at Euro 2004.

Denmark looked to be heading for the quarter-finals as group winners, holding on relatively comfortably before Jonson's late intervention.

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