Spain stifled as Sweden grind to Euro draw

Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen hangs on to deny Spain's Gerard Moreno a late winning goal.
Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen hangs on to deny Spain's Gerard Moreno a late winning goal.

The chances came and went but neither Spain nor Sweden managed to put any of them in the net in a 0-0 draw at the European Championship.

Spain dominated possession and appeared the most likely for most of the Group E match but couldn't capitalise on any of their scoring opportunities at La Cartuja Stadium.

Sweden looked dangerous only on rare occasions against the three-time European champions.

Although they came close to breaking the deadlock near the end of the first half when Real Sociedad forward Isak Alexander had his shot from inside the area hit the post after deflecting off Spain defender Marcos Llorente.

Alvaro Morata had Spain's best chance just a few minutes earlier but his shot missed wide with goalkeeper Robin Olsen the only opponent to beat inside the box.

Olsen saved a close-range header by substitute Gerard Moreno in the 90th minute.

Early in the second half, Swedish veteran Marcus Berg misfired when he should have scored, skying the ball high and wide from just yards out with the goal at his mercy.

But when the full-time whistle came, Sweden revelled in ruining Spain's party, keeper Olsen punching the air and the grins of their numerous travelling supporters contrasting with the emotions of their hosts.

This was a deeply frustrating start to the tournament for Spain, who broke a competition record for the most passes in the first half while ending the game with 85 per cent possession and 917 passes, according to Opta.

Spain's matches at Euro 2020 are being played in Seville instead of Bilbao - the original host city for Spain - because the high contagion rate of the virus in the northern city wouldn't allow for many fans to attend games.

A limited crowd of 12,517 attended Monday's match on a sweltering evening.

Spain's next game is on Saturday against Poland, who lost 2-1 to Slovakia in their group opener.

Sweden, who haven't advanced to the knockout stage at the Euros since 2004, will tackle Slovakia on Friday in St. Petersburg.

Australian Associated Press