ENGLAND need only a draw against Ukraine to reach the Euro 2012 quarter-finals after coming from behind to defeat Sweden 3-2 thanks to Danny Welbeck’s superb winner in Kiev.
They were the better side in the first half and deservedly led through Andy Carroll’s header only to be stunned by two Olof Mellberg goals after the break.
But substitute Theo Walcott levelled and then his cross was back-heeled home by Welbeck.
The first serious attempt on goal came from Scott Parker after Welbeck had teed up the Tottenham midfielder. His 25-yard shot contained plenty of power but Swedish keeper Andreas Isaksson was well positioned to parry away his attempt.
Carroll justified his selection with a superb header to put England ahead after 23 minutes. As against France, skipper Steven Gerrard was the goal creator with a right-wing cross and Carroll got in between Mellberg and Andreas Granqvist to power a header past Isaksson.
Sweden started the second half promisingly and after 49 minutes Mellberg brought them back on level terms after Carroll had fouled Kim Kallstrom just outside the box. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s free-kick hit the defensive wall but he lobbed the ball back into the danger area.
Mellberg was the first to react and, although the shot from the former Aston Villa player was parried by Hart, it hit Glen Johnson and found the target - despite the defender’s desperate attempt to clear.
James Milner was booked for a late challenge on Martin Olsson and from the resulting free-kick Mellberg struck for the second time after 59 minutes. Sebastian Larsson delivered a deep centre and no-one picked up Mellberg, who headed past Joe Hart into the corner of the net.
England boss Roy Hodgson responded by taking off Milner and replacing him with Walcott. It was an inspired move with the Arsenal player equalising after 64 minutes. A Gerrard corner was only half cleared to Walcott, whose shot from just outside the box deceived Isaksson.
And after 77 minutes Welbeck restored England’s lead with a superb back heel from inside the six yard area after Walcott had centred from the byline.