SAINT-DENIS: Ciaran Clark scored the first own goal of Euro 2016 as the Republic of Ireland and Sweden drew 1-1 in the Stade de France.
Wes Hoolahan gave the Republic a deserved lead shortly after half-time since Martin O’Neill’s team had already struck the posts and gone close several times.
Seamus Coleman delivered a superb cross after a teasing, jinking run down the right and Hoolahan, who had found space at a premium in a generally congested midfield, smashed home a half-volley from 14m.
Sweden spearhead Zlatan Ibrahimovic had said before the match that “the legend can still deliver”, but for much of the match the 34-year-old was drawn so deep in search of the ball that he looked more like a midfielder.
He had little chance to improve on his record of 62 international goals. He struck the wall with a free-kick, snatched a volley and was inches from converting a low drilled cross.
But he was at the heart of the move that led to the equaliser.
Clark had already gone close once to putting the ball in his own net with a header that Darren Randolph did well to save before Emil Forsberg hammered the rebound wide.
But Randolph could do nothing to stop Clark’s miscued defensive header after Ibrahimovic had finally sprung to life, collecting a neat backheel from substitute John Guidetti and raccing to the byeline to cross.
At the other end Jeff Hendrick drew a late save from Andreas Isaksson but there was no be no winner at the end of a feisty, scrappy match.