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Janne Andersson ignores criticism over Sweden's style of play

Janne Andersson ignores criticism over Sweden's style of play
© Reuters
Emil Forsberg's penalty settled the match in Sweden's favour.

Sweden coach Jan Andersson is not worried about the criticism of his side's style of play after their 1-0 win over Slovakia put them on the verge of the knockout stages of the European Championships for the first time since 2004.

A dour match briefly sprang to life around the hour mark with a flurry of chances culminating in Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka bringing down substitute Robin Quaison to allow Emil Forsberg to end the team's run of 365 minutes without a goal at the tournament.

Sweden won the match with just 42 per cent possession, having earned a draw against Spain in their Euro 2020 Group E opener with just 15 per cent.

But Andersson ignored the critics, saying at his post-match press conference: "We have our way of playing football.

"I don't think it as a good first half myself. But I think we showed the way we want to play in the second half.

"We should have got another goal in the second half and not have been stressed out by the 1-0 lead.

"Our defence was really good. We are really well organised and the players are sacrificing themselves for each other. Our attack should have more rewards, it was fantastic at times.

"We have played seven games this year and conceded only one goal. If people think we are difficult to play against I'm happy with that.

"The situation looks good, we've put ourselves in a good position."

The only player who lit up an ordinary game was 21-year-old La Liga player of the year Alexander Isak, who produced one weaving run from deep which almost opened the scoring.

"Isak was the standout player. He is a huge talent, a young player who still has much left to progress but I think he can grow quite a bit more," added Andersson.

"He played a really good game. Sometimes Isak had to do things on his own and he is very impressive as a youngster to be so mature in his way of playing."

Slovakia's lack of ambition cost them dearly and coach Stefan Tarkovic is now hoping for "a miracle" against Spain in their final group game.

"I'm an optimist. We will prepare very responsibly and I am sure we will show the same approach and attitude and then hopefully a small miracle against Spain," he said.

"It is important to believe in our dreams and maybe believe in miracles."

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Marek Hamsik during a Slovakia press conference on March 23, 2019
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ChinaChina1891138
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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