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Sweden and Ukraine complete Euro line-up


Sweden and Ukraine became the last two qualifiers for Euro 2016 after eliminating Denmark and Slovenia respectively in Tuesday’s play-offs.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace as Sweden beat their Scandinavian neighbours 4-3 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw in Copenhagen.

Ukraine held on after conceding an early goal to veteran centre-back Bostjan Cesar before an equaliser deep into injury time by Andriy Yarmolenko saw them complete a 3-1 aggregate victory.

After Republic of Ireland beat Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday and Hungary ousted Norway the day before, all 24 teams for next year’s finals in France are now known.

Ibrahimovic was the star as Sweden completed a victory over Denmark that was more comfortable than the final scoreline suggested.

He opened the scoring on 19 minutes with a delicate finish from Kim Kallstrom’s corner.

It was a second vital contribution from Kallstrom in the early stages having diverted a goalbound effort from Denmark onto the bar as early as the eighth minute.

Ibrahimovic settled the affair 14 minutes from time with a stunning free-kick from distance that meant Denmark would now need to score an improbable four times to reach the Euros.

The hosts, who had eliminated Sweden from the 2010 World Cup play-offs six years ago, didn’t give up and pulled back late goals from Yussuf Poulsen and Jannik Vestergaard, but they nonetheless came up well short.

Ukraine were aiming to avoid an unprecedented sixth straight play-off elimination across the World Cup and Euros together in their match in Maribor.

And there was a daunting portent when Cesar opened the scoring for the hosts on 11 minutes.

Ukraine still led 2-1 on aggregate having won the first leg 2-0 in Kiev and after Slovenia’s Miso Brecko was sent off a minute into time added on, Yarmolenko sealed Ukraine’s progress with an equaliser seven minutes into injury time.


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