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In a game that featured plenty of chances for both sides, Carroll had given England the halftime lead with a powerful header in the 23rd minute that showed exactly why Hodgson elected to start the tall Liverpool forward up front. Carroll got between two defenders to meet Steven Gerrard's cross into the area as Sweden was once again exposed in the air.
But Sweden fought back through an unlikely source in Mellberg, whose shot past Joe Hart was pushed into the net by Glen Johnson. The veteran defender, who has said he will quit international football after this tournament, then rose highest to meet a long free kick from Sebastian Larsson to put the Swedes ahead in the 59th.
"It was a cracking game of football," Hodgson said. "We were reasonably comfortable at halftime and had a good control of the game before they rocked us on our heels."
But Walcott then started the English comeback when a corner was headed out to the Arsenal winger outside the area and his shot wrong-footed Isaksson, who was falling the wrong way and flailing with his arms as he watched the ball fly into the middle of the net.
"They were much more effective than we were," Sweden coach Erik Hamren said. "I'm really proud of the players. We showed the mentality and the attitude I wanted to see. ... But to win games you need also a little bit of luck."
Sweden: Andreas Isaksson, Andreas Granqvist (Mikael Lustig, 66), Olof Mellberg, Jonas Olsson, Martin Olsson, Anders Svensson, Kim Kallstrom, Sebastian Larsson, Rasmus Elm (Christian Wilhelmsson, 81), Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Johan Elmander (Markus Rosenberg, 79).
England: Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Andy Carroll, Ashley Young, Joleon Lescott, James Milner (Theo Walcott, 61), Scott Parker, Danny Welbeck (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 90).
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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