Denmark 2-2 Sweden (3-4 on agg): Zlatan Ibrahimovic seals Euro 2016 spot
Last Updated: 19/11/15 10:07am
A goal in either half from Zlatan Ibrahimovic was enough for Sweden as they booked their place at Euro 2016 courtesy of a thrilling 2-2 draw, and 4-3 aggregate play-off victory, over Denmark in Copenhagen.
Having settled Saturday's first-leg in Stockholm, Ibrahimovic proved to be the difference yet again as his 19th-minute opener and sumptuous 76th-minute free-kick sealed Sweden's passage to next summer's tournament at the expense of their Scandinavian rivals.
Two late goals from Yussuf Poulsen (81) and substitute Jannik Vestergaard (90) ensured the Danes avoided defeat on the night, but they came too late to save their qualification bid or the career of manager Morten Olsen, who leaves his post after 15 years at the helm.
The result sees Sweden reach a fifth consecutive European championships and also sees them join Hungary, Republic of Ireland and Ukraine in December's Euro 2016 draw having progressing via the play-offs.
The introduction of Pierre Hojbjerg, Yussuf Poulsen and Nicolai Jorgensen from the substitutes' bench hauled Denmark back into Saturday's first leg, and Olsen decided to start the trio at Parken Stadium.
His changes had the desired effect, with the hosts flying out of the traps in a pulsating opening period. With just eight minutes on the clock they almost levelled the tie, but Poulsen's flick on from Christian Eriksen's corner was diverted onto the bar by Kim Kallstrom.
For all their bright play though, Denmark failed to create anything clear cut, and shortly before the 20-minute mark they were punished as the unmarked Ibrahimovic coaxed Kallstrom's corner beyond an unsighted Kasper Schmeichel in the Danish goal.
It was almost two on 27 minutes, buoyed by the opener, the Swedes worked a great move to play Ibrahimovic through on goal, but this time Schmeichel was on hand to put in a decisive block.
The closest Denmark came to an equaliser came on the half-hour mark when an Eriksen free-kick drew Andreas Isaksson into a rudimentary save, while Schmeichel was on hand to deny Ibrahimovic's looping header six minutes later.
Former Liverpool defender Daniel Agger then almost had a moment to forget as he sliced Ibrahimovic's cross onto the roof of his own net before former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner spurned a great opportunity two minutes before the interval, miscuing a header.
Needing two goals, half-time gave Denmark time to calculate their approach to salvaging their Euro 2016 hopes. But their first chance of a response came courtesy of Erik Johansson, who sliced Jorgensen's cross agonisingly wide of his own goal on 52 minutes.
Eriksen's driven effort 20 minutes later somehow missed the back of the net as Sebastian Larsson and Isaksson combined to keep the hosts out. And within six minutes, Sweden had doubled their advantage.
After Agger had unnecessarily barged Emil Forsberg to ground, Ibrahimovic curled a stunning free-kick around the wall and beyond the reach of Schmeichel for his 62nd international goal.
Denmark reduced the arrears nine minutes from time, with Poulsen meeting Riza Durmisi's deep cross to head past Isaksson.
However, by the time Vestergaard had levelled the tie on the night, the hosts had just stoppage time to find two goals, a feat which proved unachievable.