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Sweden leave England hanging on

Scorer Alexandersson, right, is chased by Anders Svensson
Scorer Alexandersson, right, is chased by Anders Svensson  


SAITAMA, Japan (CNN) -- Sweden fought back to leave England grateful for a 1-1 draw in the so-called group of death.

The Swedes were second best in the first half but dominated after the break, creating several chances to win the game as England ran out of ideas in Saitama.

Sol Campbell broke the deadlock in the 24th minute, heading in captain David Beckham's in-swinging corner. It was the Arsenal centreback's first goal in 47 internationals.

But England failed to press home the advantage and Marcus Allback tested keeper David Seaman with a shot on the turn.

Niclas Alexandersson levelled for Sweden in the 59th minute, picking up a poor clearance from Danny Mills and crashing the ball high into the net.

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Seaman then had to race out to deny Teddy Lucic and Tobias Linderoth shot just over.

At the other end Michael Owen hit the side netting and Emile Heskey pulled a shot past the post.

But Sweden controlled midfield throughout the second half, especially after Beckham, playing his first game since breaking a bone in his foot in April, was substituted.

England's Swedish coach, Sven Goran-Eriksson, said Beckham had been rested.

Striker Henrik Larsson missed a great chance to win the game for Sweden in injury time, dragging his angled shot wide.

Campbell, right, and Owen celebrate England's goal
Campbell, right, and Owen celebrate England's goal  

In Sunday's other Group F match, Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0. (Full story)

England David Seaman; Danny Mills, Ashley Cole,Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell; David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Emile Heskey, Owen Hargreaves; Michael Owen, Darius Vassell

Sweden Magnus Hedman; Olof Mellberg, Johan Mjallby, Andreas Jakobsson, Teddy Lucic; Tobias Linderoth, Niclas Alexandersson, Fredrik Ljungberg, Magnus Svensson; Marcus Allback, Henrik Larsson

Referee Carlos Simon (Brazil)





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