Sweden were left to rue the dramatic turnaround in their fortunes at Kyiv’s Olympic Stadium where a 1-0 lead by Zlatan Ibrahimovic was turned on its head by Ukraine’s own talismanic striker, Andriy Shevchenko, in the space of ten minutes. “It’s tough,” said Ibrahimovic, who promised an improvement in their remaining Group D games while goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson took a philosophical stance: “Things just didn’t work out for us.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden striker
Its tough, it’s tough. We shouldn’t have lost. We had good chances to score goals. We were winning 1-0, then they scored to make it 1-1 and another to make it 2-1 from a corner and that just can’t happen. But we have two games left to do better.
I felt a bit nervous in the first half, but we started the second half better, we played better and held the ball and were a bit more daring. But that sums up football; things start to go well and you concede a goal and then a second goal after that.
We just have to focus. Two great matches lie ahead of us against two great teams and we will do much better than we did today. We will just prepare for them and do even better. We can learn not to throw away a lead in the manner we did and to be a bit more daring. It isn’t just about one game.
Andreas Isaksson, Sweden goalkeeper
We didn’t play at our normal level and when we finally started playing well and scored a goal, we went on to concede two very quickly. We played with more energy and had a few good chances at the end. I am very disappointed. All of us are; it feels like we could have got the three points today, but that’s just the way it is.
Maybe we played a lot of long balls in the first half and were a bit too scared. But in the second half we played better, scored one goal and then out of the blue they scored two in quick succession. After that we really went for it and were so close but things just didn’t work out for us; sometimes that’s just the way it is.
It’s hard of course but we still have two more games left in this group and we just have to go out there and do our best and get as many points as we can so we can have a chance to reach the quarter-finals.
Sebastian Larsson, Sweden midfielder
[The dressing room] was mostly quiet. Of course everyone is very disappointed. We couldn’t really get our game going but it was 0-0 at half-time and we had had the best chances, so there was no sense of panic. We went in front after we started pressing higher up. It felt like we were getting the match to where we wanted it. Then they scored twice in a few minutes.
We knew very well what [Shevchenko] is capable of. But two instances in two minutes made it difficult for us to get back into it. At the moment I’m not thinking of the [England] match at all, I’m just very disappointed. But we know what we have to do. We’ll just have to digest this and look ahead.