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2015 U21 European Championship, Final
Sweden U21 win 4-3 on penalties
Sweden U21 win 4-3 on penalties

Sweden beat Portugal 4-3 on penalty kicks, Patrik Carlgren saves two

Sweden's organisation, spirit and tenacity saw them upset the odds and secure their first-ever European Under-21 Championship at the expense of overriding favourites Portugal.

Fresh from condemning Germany to their heaviest ever defeat in the semifinal, few thought the Scandinavians would be capable of stopping Rui Jorge's side. After all, the Swedes were the only team England managed to beat.

Yet an incredible, battling display frustrated Portugal and took the match to penalties, where William Carvalho -- one of the stars of the tournament -- saw his spot-kick saved by Patrik Carlgren as Sweden secured their first ever men's UEFA youth title.

It was a remarkable turn of events at the Eden Stadium, where Portugal's explosive start petered out against the side who finished runners-up to them in Group B.

Sweden only progressed after a late equaliser against the Portuguese in their final group game and they certainly took advantage. Former Manchester City striker John Guidetti was a Jose Sa save away from snatching victory within 90 minutes.

Instead, it went to extra time and then penalties, when the sea of yellow fans burst into wild celebrations after star turn Carvalho saw his penalty saved by Carlgren.

There only looked like being one winner early on, such was the threat Jorge's men posed as Joao Mario had an effort blocked and Ricardo rippled the side netting.

Clever play by the ever-impressive Carvalho resulted in Portugal coming closer still, with captain Sergio Oliveira's curling free-kick rattling the crossbar.

That opportunity appeared to belatedly jolt Sweden into life, with Isaac Kiese Thelin and Simon Tibbling seeing efforts stopped by Sa as Hakan Ericson's side grew into proceedings.

Ivan Cavaleiro's inability to stay onside was seeing many of Portugal's voyages forward collapse, with a thumping Raphael Guerreiro effort the best they could muster as halftime approached.

The end-to-end theme continued when the second half got under way, epitomised by a counter-attack following Victor Lindelof's header, which saw Ricardo inches away from directing home Bernardo Silva's cross.

Oliveira struck just wide from distance as Portugal looked to break the deadlock shortly after Guidetti ended an exceptional team move with an acrobatic effort that just missed the target.

As the second half wore on Jorge's men looked most likely to snatch a goal, with Toze testing Carlgren shortly before fellow substitute Iuri Medeiros cut in and curled just wide after collecting an excellent pass from Carvalho.

The pressure continued as Toze and Mario had efforts, only for Guidetti to threaten a late winner for the Swedes.

Having seen a close-range effort blocked by Liverpool centre-back Tiago Ilori, the 23-year-old wriggled through a sea of defenders to flick towards the goal, only for Sa's exceptional one-handed save deny the former Man City striker.

Neither side came any closer in the 90 minutes, sending the Prague encounter into extra time, a period which Sweden started strongly.

The swathes of yellow supporters held their breath as Abdullah Khalili curled just wide, with the wideman having a similar effort after Guidetti hammered over a free-kick.

Goncalo Paciencia's turn and shot was all Portugal had to show for their first-half endeavours, with the substitute striker heading a free-kick wide after the restart and flashing another wide deep in extra time.

It meant penalties and wild Swedish celebrations when Carlgren saved Ricardo Esgaio's strike in the third round of spot-kicks.

They were short-lived as Khalili's awful penalty allowed Portugal to dream, only for Carvalho's disappointment to gift Sweden a famous win.

European Under-21 Championship News