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Sweden Coach: We Had the Margins on Our Side

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The slightest margins that decide football matches went in Sweden's favor for the first time at Euro 2012 in their 2-0 consolation victory over France, coach Erik Hamren said Wednesday.

The slightest margins that decide football matches went in Sweden's favor for the first time at Euro 2012 in their 2-0 consolation victory over France, coach Erik Hamren said Wednesday.

A wonder strike by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a Sebastian Larsson goal on the break in injury time brought the Swedes their first win at the tournament Tuesday, sending them home on a high note.

"There's big joy and happiness with this win, it restores some of our pride," Hamren said.

"Today we had the margins on our side. France had some great opportunities. The difference between today and England and also Ukraine was that France were unable to take the chances they had."

The win leaves Hamren with mixed feelings after his first tournament in charge of the team since joining in 2009.

"I'm really happy about the way we have performed, that we win this game, and I'm proud of the players," the 54-year-old said.

"But it still hurts," he said of Sweden's failure to qualify for the quarterfinals. "We are really sad today."

Judging by the second-half impact of substitute Christian Wlhelmsson, which spurred Sweden on to two second-half goals, it might have been wiser to start the player against Ukraine, a match they lost 2-1, Hamren conceded.

"You have these questions when you don't get the result. ... I'm going to think about that all summer, of course."

The team can be proud of their effort in Ukraine, which left a positive impression on the players, Hamren said.

"We're disappointed we have to leave, but that's life."

 

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