Danny Welbeck hit a clever winner as England came from behind to beat Sweden for the first time in a competitive fixture after their Euro 2012 campaign flirted with danger in Kiev.
Andy Carroll's superb first-half header allowed England to establish comfortable control - but poor defending allowed Sweden to score twice and take the lead before the hour.
Hodgson will be judged on the impact and results of his big calls and he could not have done much better both in acting on a tactical theory and reacting when it threatened to go wrong.
England manager Roy Hodgson required inspiration and found it in the shape of substitute Theo Walcott as the Arsenal attacker turned the game around with a spectacular equaliser and a penetrating run to set up Welbeck's deft back-heel with 12 minutes left.
Hodgson's side had been derided in some quarters for their conservative approach in the opening 1-1 draw with France but there could be no complaints about the entertainment value on offer here in Ukraine - although not all of it was intentional or admirable.
He will take heart from England's positive response to adversity but will be hugely concerned that trouble came as the result of a collective lapse of defensive concentration that gave Sweden an all-too-easy route back into this contest.
England know a draw against co-hosts Ukraine in Donetsk next Tuesday will put them through to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals, but they will face a team with ambitions of their own in that direction in what will be a hostile atmosphere inside the Donbass Arena.
Hodgson's plan was clear and was revealed by Carroll's recall. Sweden's defence had a weakness in the air and England were intent on probing it.
England's first threat came from midfield man Scott Parker when he saw his rising 25-yard shot clawed away by Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.
And there was a hint of things to come when Welbeck rose to meet James Milner's cross, but his glancing header was weak and lacked the direction to trouble Isaksson.
When England broke the deadlock it came from a move that was straight from Hodgson's strategy both in creation and execution.
Gerrard's cross from the right wing was met by the soaring figure of Carroll as he got in between Andreas Granqvist and Mellberg to power a header past Isaksson.
Sweden were carrying few attacking threats, although the ease with which Zlatan Ibrahimovic brushed Parker off the ball and then won a straight race with a ponderous-looking John Terry were causes for concern.
Kim Kallstrom shot just over after Glen Johnson lost possession and Hart had to dive at the feet of Johan Elmander as the Swedes attempted to restore equality before the break.
After looking relatively settled, England were set back by a scrappy mess of an equaliser for Sweden four minutes after the restart. Ibrahimovic's free-kick, conceded needlessly by Carroll, was not cleared and Mellberg's shot was palmed on to Johnson before going into the net.
Sweden had emerged with a sense of purpose they never showed in the first half and were ahead just before the hour - but once again England were guilty of defending in a manner that manager Hodgson will find unacceptable.
Mellberg was allowed to rise unmarked amid a mass of dozing defenders to meet Seb Larsson's free-kick and send a downward header past Hart as England's players looked bemused at the fate that had befallen them.
Hodgson's reaction was to introduce Walcott for Milner and it was a change that reaped a rich reward as the Arsenal attacker played a decisive part in England's recovery.
Walcott's swerving finish for his first international goal in nearly four years brought England level after 64 minutes before his darting run into the area and cross allowed Welbeck to apply an instinctive back-flick finish.
In the closing moments captain Gerrard could have given the scoreline a more convincing appearance but Isaksson did brilliantly to block his close-range volley.
The victory was secured, but Hodgson and England will be well aware they survived a scare caused by their own carelessness.Continue reading the main story
- 01 Isaksson
- 03 Mellberg Booked
- 04 Granqvist (Lustig - 66' )
- 05 Mn Olsson
- 13 Olsson Booked
- 06 Elm (Wilhelmsson - 81' )
- 07 Larsson
- 08 Svensson Booked
- 09 Kallstrom
- 10 Ibrahimovic
- 11 Elmander (Rosenberg - 79' )
- 12 Wiland
- 23 Hansson
- 02 Lustig
- 15 Antonsson
- 17 Safari
- 16 Wernbloom
- 18 Holmen
- 19 Bajrami
- 21 Wilhelmsson
- 14 Hysen
- 20 Toivonen
- 22 Rosenberg
- 01 Hart
- 02 Johnson
- 03 Cole
- 06 Terry
- 15 Lescott
- 04 Gerrard
- 11 Young
- 16 Milner Booked (Walcott - 60' )
- 17 Parker
- 09 Carroll
- 22 Welbeck (Oxlade-Chamberlain - 89' )
- 13 Green
- 23 Butland
- 05 Kelly
- 12 Baines
- 14 Jones
- 18 Jagielka
- 07 Walcott
- 08 Henderson
- 19 Downing
- 20 Oxlade-Chamberlain
- 21 Defoe
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +3:45
Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Jonas Olsson goes harmlessly over the crossbar.90:00 +1:51
A cross is delivered by Theo Walcott, Shot by Steven Gerrard from 12 yards. Andreas Isaksson makes a save.90:00 +0:20
Steven Gerrard has an effort direct from the free kick.90:00 +0:20 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Anders Svensson for dissent.90:00 +0:09
Sebastian Larsson is penalised for a handball.88:55 Substitution
Substitution Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Danny Welbeck.87:11
Corner taken left-footed by Kim Kallstrom from the right by-line, save made by Joe Hart.86:00
Joleon Lescott challenges Markus Rosenberg unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Kim Kallstrom from right wing, clearance by Andy Carroll.84:27
Ashley Cole fouled by Anders Svensson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ashley Young from left wing, clearance by Martin Olsson.83:44
Anders Svensson sends in a cross.81:22
Effort on goal by Scott Parker from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.81:04
The ball is swung over by Mikael Lustig, Andy Carroll manages to make a clearance.80:30 Substitution
Substitution Christian Wilhelmsson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Rasmus Elm.78:47 Substitution
Substitution Markus Rosenberg on for Johan Elmander.77:16
Assist on the goal came from Theo Walcott.77:16 Goal scored
Goal! - Danny Welbeck - Sweden 2 - 3 England Danny Welbeck scores a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Sweden 2-3 England.77:15
The ball is delivered by Theo Walcott,76:10
Sebastian Larsson takes the inswinging corner, save by Joe Hart.75:55
Effort on goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic from 25 yards. Save by Joe Hart.
Effort on goal by Kim Kallstrom from just inside the area clears the bar.72:17
Foul by Kim Kallstrom on Ashley Young, free kick awarded. Ashley Young has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.71:19 Booking
Booking Booking for Jonas Olsson for unsporting behaviour.70:24
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Kim Kallstrom, comfortable save by Joe Hart.69:36
Effort on goal by Andy Carroll from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.67:23
Kim Kallstrom takes a shot. John Terry gets a block in.66:43
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker by Anders Svensson. Ashley Cole takes the free kick.65:02 Substitution
Substitution Andreas Granqvist leaves the field to be replaced by Mikael Lustig.63:31 Goal scored
Goal! - Theo Walcott - Sweden 2 - 2 England A fantastic goal is scored by Theo Walcott from outside the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Sweden 2-2 England.62:37
Steven Gerrard takes the free kick. John Terry takes a shot. Andreas Isaksson makes a save. Ashley Young takes the inswinging corner, Jonas Olsson manages to make a clearance.62:37 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Olof Mellberg for unsporting behaviour.62:18
Olof Mellberg gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Carroll.59:53
Corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line. Glen Johnson takes a shot. Jonas Olsson gets a block in.59:53 Substitution
Substitution Theo Walcott comes on in place of James Milner.59:45
Ashley Young produces a cross, Jonas Olsson makes a clearance.58:16
Assist by Sebastian Larsson.58:16 Goal scored
Goal! - Olof Mellberg - Sweden 2 - 1 England Olof Mellberg scores a headed goal from close range. Sweden 2-1 England.57:23
Centre by Sebastian Larsson,57:23 Booking
Booking James Milner is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.57:16
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Olsson by James Milner.55:46
The ball is delivered by Kim Kallstrom.54:28
Handball decision goes against Scott Parker. Free kick taken by Andreas Granqvist.52:43
Steven Gerrard takes a shot from 25 yards. Olof Mellberg gets a block in.48:34
Zlatan Ibrahimovic provided the assist for the goal.48:34 Goal scored
Goal! - Olof Mellberg - Sweden 1 - 1 England Goal scored by Olof Mellberg from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Sweden 1-1 England.47:24
Kim Kallstrom fouled by Andy Carroll, the ref awards a free kick. Zlatan Ibrahimovic produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.47:14
A cross is delivered by Andreas Granqvist, clearance made by John Terry.46:16
Martin Olsson sends in a cross, John Terry manages to make a clearance.45:58
Danny Welbeck challenges Kim Kallstrom unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Anders Svensson.45:01
The second half has started.45:00 +1:04 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.44:24
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Steven Gerrard.43:40
A cross is delivered by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, save made by Joe Hart.41:54
James Milner produces a cross.40:52
Andy Carroll fouled by Olof Mellberg, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.37:39
Unfair challenge on Sebastian Larsson by Ashley Young results in a free kick. Andreas Isaksson takes the direct free kick.36:50
Effort on goal by Kim Kallstrom from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.36:25
Ashley Cole produces a cross.35:20
Ashley Young produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.32:03
Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.31:10
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Anders Svensson. Joleon Lescott takes the direct free kick.29:53
Foul by Rasmus Elm on John Terry, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.25:37
The ball is swung over by Rasmus Elm.25:18
Martin Olsson takes a shot. James Milner gets a block in.25:01
Rasmus Elm crosses the ball.22:48
Steven Gerrard provided the assist for the goal.22:48 Goal scored
Goal! - Andy Carroll - Sweden 0 - 1 England Andy Carroll finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the area. Sweden 0-1 England.22:47
The ball is delivered by Steven Gerrard,21:47
Ashley Cole has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the target.21:12
A cross is delivered by James Milner, Jonas Olsson makes a clearance.19:10
Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.14:46
James Milner produces a cross, Header by Danny Welbeck from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.12:31
Foul by Steven Gerrard on Rasmus Elm, free kick awarded. Sebastian Larsson takes the direct free kick.10:58
Shot by Sebastian Larsson from 25 yards. Save made by Joe Hart.10:19
Andy Carroll concedes a free kick for a foul on Olof Mellberg. Andreas Isaksson takes the direct free kick.9:44
Olof Mellberg gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Carroll. Glen Johnson takes the free kick.7:43
The ball is delivered by James Milner, clearance made by Olof Mellberg.6:54
Scott Parker takes a shot. Save made by Andreas Isaksson.5:57
Scott Parker fouled by Sebastian Larsson, the ref awards a free kick. Scott Parker delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing.3:10
Unfair challenge on Andy Carroll by Andreas Granqvist results in a free kick. Ashley Young takes the direct free kick.1:22
Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Carroll on Anders Svensson. Sebastian Larsson takes the direct free kick.0:44
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andreas Granqvist by Andy Carroll. Andreas Granqvist restarts play with the free kick.0:14
Joleon Lescott fouled by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the ref awards a free kick. Scott Parker takes the free kick.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
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Comment number 337.jgore
17th June 2012 - 14:57
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