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England's Andy Carroll (C) heads to score a goal between Sweden's Andreas Granqvist (L) and Olof Mellberg during their Group D Euro 2012 soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, June 15, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
KIEV - England showed their mettle to win for the first time in competitive matches against Sweden with a 3-2 victory in a Group D match on Friday.
A brilliant finish from Danny Welbeck put the England back ahead with 12 minutes left after Theo Walcott's equalizer and Andy Caroll's heading opener against a courageous Swedish side driven by goal from Olof Mellberg and an inspirational lead from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The victory move England to lead the group with France at four points, approaching the last eight berths.
While Sweden, though delivered a good match that deserved no losers, was knocked out of the group with one match left with two defeats in a row.
Sweden have never lost a competitive game against England, with their seven previous encounters ending two wins and five draws.
In the last meet between the rivals, England downed Sweden 1-0 in a friendly on November 15, 2011, which was their first victory in 43 years against Sweden.
Sweden's Olof Mellberg scores his team's first goal against England during their Group D Euro 2012 soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, June 15, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
The Liverpool combination opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Steven Gerrard's angled cross from the right wings found Carroll. The central forward, starting for the first time in this tournament, beat two defenders in aerial battle to head into the net.
Olof Mellberg fought way back for Sweden four minutes into the second half with a sliding shot to beat a desperate save from England defender Glen Johnson, deflecting the ball in the net.
The defender Mellberg helped Sweden overtook the lead 2-1 ten minutes later with a strong header from a free-kick in the right.
The Arsenal winger Walcott played a super substituted role in the 64th minute, just moments after his coming on from the bench to deliver a well-swerving long shot from the edge of the area to beat the keeper.
Welbeck run in time to a neat cross in the area from Wolcott to net the goal with brilliant back-heel skills, igniting the Kiev Olympic Stadium dominated by 18,000 Swedes and 6,500 England fans producing fanatic atmosphere in the whole battle.