International Friendlies

Sweden 3-0 Wales

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport in Stockholm
Emil Forsberg puts Sweden in the lead
Forsberg's opening goal came after an impressive piece of skill from Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Wales ended their preparations for Euro 2016 on an underwhelming note as they were beaten in Sweden.

With talisman Gareth Bale on the bench, Wales trailed 1-0 at half-time as Emil Forsberg fired the hosts in front.

Mikael Lustig bundled in from a corner to double their lead, before substitute John Guidetti struck a late third.

Not even Bale's introduction could rouse Wales, who face Slovakia in their Euro 2016 opener on Saturday.

With Wales' first match at a major tournament for 58 years in mind, manager Chris Coleman could at least be consoled by the fact his players avoided serious injury in Stockholm.

But he may have been a little disappointed by a somewhat disjointed performance, which was perhaps to be expected with Wales having not played since a friendly defeat against Ukraine in March.

Relive Sweden v Wales

Zlatan v Bale

The fixture was billed as a battle between the two teams' stellar talents - Bale against Sweden's inspirational and outspoken captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bale had not featured for Wales since October and, having played 120 minutes of Real Madrid's Champions League final triumph the previous weekend, the 26-year-old was left on the bench.

Ibrahimovic, heavily linked with Manchester United after leaving Paris St-Germain, started the match and was predictably the orchestrator of every home attack.

His own efforts on goal were initially limited to a 25-yard shot which curled wide but, shortly before half-time, his elegant control and nonchalant pass teed up Forsberg to strike into the bottom corner.

Ibrahimovic had been substituted by the time Bale emerged, so their much-vaunted duel did not materialise.

Home and away fans alike were thrilled to see Bale and, although he showed flickers of his considerable threat, he could not revive Wales as Sweden eased to a comfortable victory, Coleman's side failing to muster a single shot on target.

Coleman's selection issues

Wales already had fitness concerns about a handful of players ahead of this fixture, so Coleman was anxious not to add to his list of potential absentees.

Injured midfielders Joe Allen and Joe Ledley and striker Hal Robson-Kanu were rested with a view to them playing against Slovakia - remarkably in the case of Ledley, who broke his leg in May.

While Bale was on the bench, Jonny Williams impressed in the Real Madrid forward's usual roaming role in attack, with an inventive and energetic display.

There was also a first Wales appearance since October for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, sporting a distinctive new blonde hairstyle and looking like one of his country's likeliest sources of a goal.

The match was a useful workout as Coleman ponders his team to face Slovakia, but the nature of the performance will have been less than encouraging as Wales embark on their historic campaign in France.

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Man of the match - Emil Forsberg

Emil forsberg
As well as scoring the opening goal, Sweden winger Forsberg (left) looked threatening whenever he cut inside from the left flank and ran at Wales' defenders

Manager reaction

Wales boss Chris Coleman: "We get a bit of success, a bit of expectation, sometimes a little bit of complacency and that can give you a little slap in the face.

"Maybe that's what's happened to us, certainly today. It doesn't mean we can't produce something special [at Euro 2016], because we're capable of it."

Read more from Coleman


Kevin Ratcliffe, former Wales and Everton captain on BBC Radio Wales

"The result won't bother Chris Coleman. It's all about the first game next week. That's what he's been building up to.

"He knows next week is a different kettle of fish. The last goal summed it up - Ashley Williams would have gone in harder if this was a competitive match. This was about getting the rustiness out, and I think they've achieved that."

Wales' Euro 2016 Group B games

  • v Slovakia (11 June, 17:00 BST) on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 live
  • v England (16 June, 14:00) on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 live
  • v Russia (20 June, 20:00) on ITV, BBC Radio 5 live



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1IsakssonSubstituted forOlsenat 45'minutes
  • 2Lustig
  • 3Johansson
  • 4Granqvist
  • 5OlssonSubstituted forAugustinssonat 45'minutes
  • 7Larsson
  • 9Källström
  • 18LewickiSubstituted forEkdalat 61'minutes
  • 6ForsbergSubstituted forDurmazat 61'minutes
  • 11BergSubstituted forGuidettiat 76'minutes
  • 10IbrahimovicSubstituted forKujovicat 61'minutes


  • 8Ekdal
  • 12Olsen
  • 13Jansson
  • 14Nilsson-Lindelof
  • 15Hiljemark
  • 16Wernbloom
  • 17Augustinsson
  • 19Kujovic
  • 20Guidetti
  • 21Durmaz
  • 22Zengin
  • 23Carlgren


Formation 5-4-1

  • 1HennesseySubstituted forWardat 45'minutes
  • 2Gunter
  • 5ChesterSubstituted forCollinsat 64'minutes
  • 6Williams
  • 4Davies
  • 3Taylor
  • 8KingSubstituted forBaleat 64'minutes
  • 10Ramsey
  • 22VaughanSubstituted forEdwardsat 64'minutes
  • 20WilliamsSubstituted forHuwsat 74'minutes
  • 18VokesSubstituted forChurchat 73'minutes


  • 7Allen
  • 9Robson-Kanu
  • 11Bale
  • 12Fon Williams
  • 13Williams
  • 14Edwards
  • 15Richards
  • 16Ledley
  • 17Cotterill
  • 19Collins
  • 21Ward
  • 23Church
  • 24Dummett
  • 25Burns
  • 26Huws
Tobias Welz

Match Stats

Home TeamSwedenAway TeamWales
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sweden 3, Wales 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sweden 3, Wales 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Emyr Huws (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Wales) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gareth Bale.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right misses to the left from a direct free kick.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Ludwig Augustinsson (Sweden).

  7. Post update

    Gareth Bale (Wales) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Sweden 3, Wales 0. Guidetti (Sweden) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mikael Lustig following a fast break.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gareth Bale (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Albin Ekdal (Sweden).

  11. Post update

    Aaron Ramsey (Wales) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sweden).

  13. Post update

    Ben Davies (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Simon Church (Wales) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is too high.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jimmy Durmaz (Sweden).

  16. Post update

    Gareth Bale (Wales) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Emir Kujovic (Sweden).

  18. Post update

    Ben Davies (Wales) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by David Edwards following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Wales) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Emyr Huws.

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