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Euro 2016: Draw does Sweden and Ireland no favours in tough group

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Sweden were held to a 1-1 draw by Republic of Ireland in a Group E encounter of the Euro 2016 at the Stade de France in Paris on Monday. Irish playmaker Wes Hoolahan's 48th minute wonder strike gave Republic of Ireland the lead but an unfortunate own goal from Ciaran Clark helped Sweden restore parity in the 71st minute of a high-tempo contest which certainly became more interesting after the first goal went in.

Sweden's goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson was pressed into action early in the first half and he pulled out a top class save to deny Jeff Hendrik. And a few minutes later former Manchester United star John O'Shea failed to get a touch on the ball from close range as he missed a terrific chance to give Ireland the lead.

Hendrik then hit the woodwork with a powerful shot in the 33rd minute as the Irish inched closer to the opener but failed to do it before the breather.

Three minutes after the restart Ireland were finally rewarded for their persistence as Hoolahan unleashed a lethal volley which thundered into the net. The goal was set up by Everton full-back Seamus Coleman, who bamboozled his marker and then planted in a delightful cross for Hoolahan.

Jolted, Sweden suddenly sprung into life. They created waves of attack but some poor finishing and hard luck saw them being denied the equaliser.

Just when it looked like Ireland would grab all three points from the encounter Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic ran into space and delivered a dangerous ball into the box. Clark attempting to clear the ball over his goal somehow contrived to plant it into his own net.

Although both teams pushed forward in numbers in last quarter of an hour, neither of them were prepared to risk it all in search of a winner, a potentially poor decision considering Italy and Belgium are the other two teams in what is likely to be a tight group.

Teams:

Republic of Ireland: Randolph, Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Brady, McCarthy, Whelan, Hendrick, Hoolahan, Walters (McClean 64'), Long

Sweden: Isaksson, Lustig (Johansson 45'), Lindelof, Granqvist, Olsson, Larsson, Lewicki (Ekdal 86'), Kallstrom, Forsberg, Berg (Guidetti 58'), Ibrahimovic

Final Score: Republic of Ireland 1-1 Sweden (Hoolahan 48', Clark og 71')