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Erik Harmren happy with Ibrahimovic despite score draw



Sweden boss Erik Hamren said his side will “have to give 300 percent” against Italy and Belgium if they are to progress following Monday’s 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland.

Ireland had much the better of the first half at the Stade de France, with Derby midfielder Jeff Hendrick going closest when he struck the crossbar with just over half an hour played, but it remained goalless at the break.

Wes Hoolahan’s fine goal gave Ireland the advantage on 48 minutes but Sweden then improved and salvaged a draw when Ciaran Clark headed a Zlatan Ibrahimovic cross into his own net.

The point gives Sweden hope of progress but they face a tough challenge given the quality of opposition in Group E.

Hamren said: “The feeling right now is disappointment more than being satisfied with a draw despite coming back [from a losing position]. We have to give 300 percent in the next games if we are going to go through.

“It’s good that we didn’t lose but I’m disappointed that we didn’t play at the level we’re able to do in the first 50 minutes.”

He added: “Credit to Ireland, they really showed up. We didn’t go up to the level that I wished for.”

Ibrahimovic contributed little during the first half but Hamren absolved him from blame.

He said: “To be a forward you need support. Our attacking play wasn’t really good. The first 50 minutes, our forwards didn’t have much to work with.

“As a team, we got better after the first 50 minutes, so they had some opportunities and he was also involved in the goal that we scored.”

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