Sweden’s pole star

Claesson’s scores late winner, sends Poland home

Sweden’s pole star

Sweden’s Viktor Claesson celebrates scoring the winner against Poland. Reuters

Glasgow, June 23

Sweden winger Emil Forsberg scored a double including the second fastest strike in European Championship history before Viktor Claesson's stoppage-time goal helped them seal a 3-2 win over Poland today and top Group E heading into the last-16.

Sweden will next face one of the third-placed sides from Groups B, C or D — Finland, Ukraine or the Czech Republic — in Glasgow on June 29.

Spain, who finished second following their 5-0 win over Slovakia in the other Group E match, face Croatia in Copenhagen a day earlier.

It was a heartbreaking end to Poland's campaign after they twice drew level through talismanic skipper Robert Lewandowski, whose 84th minute equaliser for 2-2 gave them a glimmer of hope.

Modrich Croatia

Glasgow: Luka Modric lurked on the edge of the area, waiting for the ball to come to him before perfectly stroking it into the top corner with the outside of his boot. At 35, this may well be the Croatia captain's last European Championship, and he doesn't want to go home just yet.

Modric

Aged 35 years, 286 days, Modric is now the oldest player to score for Croatia at the European Championship. He's also been their youngest, 22, when he scored against Austria in 2008

Modric's majestic goal in the 62nd minute helped Croatia beat Scotland 3-1 on Tuesday and give the team a spot in the Round of 16 by finishing second in Group D. Croatia will face the runners-up from Group E on Monday in Copenhagen.

Scotland's first goal of the tournament — and their first in a major men's competition since the 1998 World Cup

“This goal means a lot to me but our play means more, from the beginning until the end," Modric said. "I am happy that my goal helped, but it's most important that the team won.”

Modric, who also picked up an assist on third goal, had a quiet first two group matches, with the midfielder forced into deeper positions and Croatia facing criticism for lacking spark in attack. But the playmaker showed his class and why he won the Ballon d'Or in 2018 — the same year he helped his team reach the World Cup final.

He fell to his knees at the final whistle for about a minute before rising to his feet and pumping his fists in celebration. He then went over with a big smile on his face to hug Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic. “No one is sure how Luka manages it,” Dalic said. Croatia's two other goals came from winger Nikola Vlasic's low shot from close range in the 17th minute and Ivan Perisic's flicked header in the 77th from a corner taken by Modric. “I'm devastated we're not through," Scotland midfielder John McGinn said. — AP

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