PABLO MARTINEZ / AIPS** in PRAGUE: After their 4-1 Euro under-21 demolition of Denmark, Sweden had every reason but manager Hakän Ericson chose to keep his calm.
He knows his team could make history in the final against Portugal but he preferred yesterday to hold back his celebrations, hopefully until after the final at Eden Stadium.
Ericson said: “The players feel fantastic. Personally I am really happy and I think that reaching a final after coming from the Group of Death increases self-confidence in players and coaches. We made the right moves and we are a very complete team.”
Twenty-three years late, Sweden will play another final at the UEFA U21 Euro. In 1992 Sweden lost to Italy in the two-leg final but this time it could be different, Hakän Ericson suggested: “Portugal showed that they are a really good team but we drew against them two days ago”.
Simon Tibbling was again one of the best players of the team. As in the previous dramatic match against Portugal, he scored a vital goal and demonstrated superb ball control in the Swedish midfield.
Ericson said: “He is very confortable with the ball. I expected this kind of performance and he was important to us to get the control of the game.”
The only doubt for the final will be striker and one of the scorers against Denmark, John Guidetti, who had to be substituted on Saturday night becaue of a hamstring problem.
** AIPS is the international sports journalists’ association with 10,000 members worldwide and is co-operating with UEFA in running a Young Reporters course at UEFA U21 EURO in the Czech Republic. More information: www.AIPSmedia.com
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