Sweden draw 1-1 with England

England draw 1-1 with Sweden in the Group F opener on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Saitama, Japan:

A 59th-minute equalizer by Niclas Alexandersson set up by an England defensive error rallied Sweden to a 1-1 draw Sunday in the Group F opener for both nations. Alexandersson's goal, coming after Sol Campbell's header had given England a 1-0 lead in the 24th, inspired the Swedes. They had three scoring chances in the next seven minutes with England 'keeper David Seaman stopping Teddy Lucic twice and Tobias Linderoth once. The draw allowed Argentina to take control of the group after its 1-0 victory earlier Sunday over Nigeria. England faces Argentina on June 7 with Sweden facing Nigeria the same day. Alexandersson's equalizer came on a 20-meter (yard) drive and was set up by an error from England defender Danny Mills. Mills chested a ball down near the goal mouth and then played it away blindly on to the foot of Alexandersson. England, still without a victory over Sweden in 34 years, went ahead on Campbell's first goal as an England international. He scored as he crashed through a pack of Swedish players and connected on a header from 6 meters off David Beckham's corner from the left flag. It was Beckham's first match since breaking a bone in his left foot in April. He seemed tired in the second half and went off after 64 minutes, replaced by Kieron Dyer. Sweden was missing experienced central defender Patrik Andersson, who injured his left thigh in training. He was replaced by Andreas Jakobsson. The English looked quicker and stronger in the first half with a nearly 60-40 advantage in possession. But they seemed disorganized early in the second half as the Swedes swarmed and came within three Seaman saves of victory. England striker Michael Owen was largely invisible in the match although he nearly connected in the 70th on a low shot that went just wide of the right of Swedish 'keeper Magnus Hedman. Emile Heskey also lashed a sharp-angled shot wide in the 80th. Heskey also headed just wide in the 90th. Three minutes into second-half injury time, Henrik Larsson drove a sharp-angled shot just wide of the far post. Lineups:England: 1-David Seaman; 2-Danny Mills, 3-Ashley Cole, 5-Rio Ferdinand, 6-Sol Campbell, 7-David Beckham (Kieron Dyer, 64), 8-Paul Scholes, 10-Michael Owen, 11-Emile Heskey, 18-Owen Hargreaves, 20-Darius Vassell (Joe Cole, 74). Sweden: 1-Magnus Hedman; 2-Olof Mellberg, 3-Johan Mjallby, 6-Tobias Linderoth, 7- Niclas Alexandersson, 9-Fredrik Ljungberg, 10-Marcus Allback (Andreas Andersson 80), 11-Henrik Larsson, 15-Andreas Jakobsson, 16-Teddy Lucic, 17-Magnus Svensson (Anders Svensson, 55). Referee: Carlos Simon, Brazil