Watch Emil Forsberg Die Inside After Teammate’s Unbelievable Miss vs. Spain

Sweden could’ve snatched an unlikely win against Spain, but Marcus Berg scuffed the chance.

Spain absolutely dominated Sweden on Monday. With 85 percent possession, I had nearly as many touches as Sweden’s attackers. And yet, striker Marcus Berg nearly stole a win with one of his team’s few forays forward. Instead, he scuffed his chance, and teammate Emil Forsberg’s theatric reaction summed up the feelings of a nation who for a half second believed they might take down the three-time European champion.

Sweden defended heroically for more than 90 minutes on Monday, earning a 0-0 draw with grit and determination. Goalkeeper Robin Olsen was faultless between the sticks and Janne Andersson’s charges were tireless in defense. 

While much of the post-match focus will be on Spain’s Álvaro Morata once again showing why he’s one of the most wasteful strikers in the world, one moment in the second half exemplified how much effort Sweden put its Group E opener. 

Spain dominated the ball throughout the match, but Sweden occasionally found moments to push forward. On one counter, Alexander Isak brilliantly danced past three defenders in the box before finding Berg at the back post, only the Krasnodar striker couldn’t find the right connection. 

Marcus Berg Miss vs Spain

Watch the video again and pay attention to Forsberg (No. 10) near the top of the 18. He collapses like a child being told he can’t have dessert because he hasn’t finished his homework, incredulous over Berg’s miss. The emotion matched that of the team’s effort on offense and defense, though his body language probably didn’t do much to console Berg. (Meanwhile, Isak went over to encourage Berg after the miss, a lovely gesture from the 21-year-old who was Sweden’s only real outlet going forward.)

Sweden actually came the closest to scoring in the first half too when Isak rampaged into the Spanish box and eventually sent a shot that was probably going wide, but Marcos Llorente turned it onto the post before Unai Simón gratefully grabbed the ball.

For all of Spain’s possession (including 91 percent in the opening 20 minutes), Luis Enrique’s men couldn’t figure out how to break down Sweden’s well-drilled 4-4-2.

Olsen was called upon to make just five saves, though he was also excellent coming out to stop crosses.

Morata probably should have put Spain in front in the 38th minute when the ball skipped to him in the box with only the keeper to beat, only to shoot wide. Olsen deserves credit for closing down the angle, but a Juventus and Spain striker really should hit the target. 

Morata has a lot of great qualities; he’s makes excellent runs (though he too often strays offside) and is constantly looking for ways to score. But his finishing leaves so much to be desired, even if he did score 20 goals for Juventus this past season. He had a similar chance early in the second half that he also hit wide.

Spain will rue those misses — and perhaps not bringing in Gerard Moreno earlier — as it heads into its next match against Poland on Saturday back in Seville. Sweden, meanwhile, will take on Slovakia in Russia on Friday, a battle of two teams buoyed by opening-match results after Slovakia took down Poland 2-1 earlier in the day. 

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