Sweden defeated Denmark 2-1 in the first leg of their Euro 2016 playoff matchup, but the terror attacks in Paris were on everybody’s mind.
Paris Saint-Germain striker and Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic spoke about the attacks after the game.
“It’s sad, tragic. Things like that shouldn’t happen,” Ibrahimovic told The Guardian after the win at Friends Arena on Saturday. “I stand behind those who have passed on and the families there. I tried hard to focus on the game, which was very hard.”
Sweden national team manager Erik Hamren believed that playing the game despite the horrific events was a good thing.
“The terrible and despicable has happened,” Hamren said. “We had a chat when we assembled and we must show that evil cannot be allowed to win, that football is important on days such as this.”
Sweden had a 2-0 lead after goals by Emil Forsberg and Ibrahimovic, but Nicolai Jorgensen got one back for the Danes in the 80th minute.
“It’s always disappointing to concede a goal,” said Hamren. “I thought our defence was good for 60 minutes. “We have won the first game. We know it’s only halftime and … it’s going to be exciting on Tuesday.“
Longtime Denmark national team coach Morten Olsen still believes there’s a good chance for his team to advance to the tournament.
“You have to be confident,” Olsen said. “I think we have the players who can make the difference, it will be a different game.”
The second leg is on Tuesday at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.