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2016 European Championship, Group Stage 2016
  • Wes Hoolahan (48')
  • Ciaran Clark (71' OG)

Ciaran Clark own goal gives Sweden 1-1 draw with Ireland

Republic of Ireland were denied victory over Sweden in Group E by a Ciaran Clark own goal in a 1-1 draw at the Stade de France.

Ireland were far brighter during the first half, and they served notice of their intent when Jeff Hendrick fired a snap shot on goal on nine minutes, forcing a decent save from Sweden keeper Andreas Isaksson.

They came even closer on 17 minutes when Clark got his head to a Robbie Brady corner and sent it in the direction of John O'Shea, but the 35-year-old defender was not able to divert it home.

The Swedes had been on the back foot for much of the opening 25 minutes, but managed to mount a sustained period of pressure, aided in no small part by a scuffed clearance from keeper Darren Randolph that allowed frontmen Marcus Berg and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to combine before Sebastian Larsson's poor touch killed the forward momentum.

Around the half-hour mark, Brady sent a shot just over the bar before Derby midfielder Hendrick curled a superb shot past Isaksson only to be denied by the crossbar.

Shane Long was appealing in vain for a penalty with four minutes of the half remaining when he felt he got a nudge in the back from defender Andreas Granqvist as he dived to meet Brady's teasing cross, but Serbian referee Milorad Mazic was not interested.

The second half began at a thrilling pace, and Ireland -- having just seen Hendrick go close -- took the lead through Wes Hoolahan's neat finish on 48 minutes, firing in a curling shot on the bounce from Seamus Coleman's cross.

The lead was no less than Martin O'Neill's side had deserved, but Sweden came close to an instant equaliser.

Emil Forsberg received the ball in front of goal following a corner but, with a congested goalmouth, he failed to hit the target and let Ireland off the hook.

Ibrahimovic, who had struggled to get a foothold in the game, then began to threaten, getting a header away followed by an improvised shot from a cross, although neither troubled Ireland keeper Darren Randolph.

When Sweden's equaliser came in the 71st minute, Ibrahimovic played a big role. The 34-year-old striker latched onto John Guidetti's neat flick and then sent in a cross that Clark headed into his own goal at the near post.

The former Paris Saint-Germain star then had the chance to put Sweden ahead on 82 minutes when Martin Olsson fired a ball across the area, but he could not make contact.

That was the last significant chance of the game as the two nations, who both qualified for the European Championship through the playoffs, shared the spoils in Paris.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.