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Hedman Lets In Two In Opening Euro Clash

Magnus Hedman, Coventry City FCMagnus Hedman became the first goalkeeper of Euro 2000 to concede a goal as Sweden went down 2-1 to their Belgian hosts tonight.

The Coventry City star conceded more goals in the game than in the entire qualifying competition.

Sweden had not let in a goal in the European tournament since the 74th second of their opening qualifying game, with Alan Shearer the scorer.

But that proud record was wiped out either side of half time in Brussels.

The Swedes had looked the stronger side early on, and Kennet Andersson had looked like being a particular threat.

It soon become clear that the normally rock-solid Swedish back four were not having one of their better days.

Former Sky Blues defender Roland Nilsson was as professional as ever, but captain Patrik Andersson and fellow centre-back Jonas Bjorklund looked uneasy.

Two minutes before half time Bart Goor broke through the defence to fire home an unstoppable shot with his left foot to put Belgium in front.

Things got worse for the Swedes in the first few seconds after the interval, when speedy Emile Mpenza was given the benefit of the doubt over a hand ball appeal, and scored a screamer.

Sweden threw Henrik Larsson on, for his first top level international appearance since he broke his leg last autumn playing for Celtic in a UEFA Cup tie.

But it was a howling error by Belgian goalkeeper Filip de Wilde who let Johan Mjaltby in to pull one back.

Despite this set back the home side held on, and when Swedish skipper Patrik Andersson was sent off ten minutes from time, there was no way back.

With Italy and Turkey to come, Coventry City’s representation at Euro 2000 could be short-lived.

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'Coventry City - the Elite Era' by Jim Brown

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 10 Jun 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM