Sweden head coach Jan Andersson described his players as “warriors” after their 3-2 Euro 2020 win against Poland earned them top spot in Group E.
Viktor Claesson’s stoppage-time winner snatched victory in St Petersburg.
Emil Forsberg’s double had given Sweden a 2-0 lead and, after Robert Lewandowski’s brace had hauled Poland level, Claesson snatched victory in a dramatic finale.
“It’s a fantastic thing that we won the group,” Andersson told a press conference. “We won the group at the (2018) World Cup and we’re really happy that we’ve done it again.
“I’m happy with the team effort. They are warriors. They fought for 90 minutes in this game and I’m really happy with it.
“They are fantastic players and the way they sacrificed themselves for each other – the team as a whole deserves all the praise they get.
“Now we get a few more days’ rest than we would have done otherwise. It’s a fantastic feeling.”
Andersson saluted RB Leipzig forward Forsberg, who followed up his winning penalty in Sweden’s opening group win against Slovakia with two more crucial strikes.
“I said it’s a nice stadium to be playing at and he thought that was funny,” Andersson added. “He likes to do these things. He fights and keeps on going and makes the difference for us.
“It’s fantastic for him to score two goals. He’s always been a good footballer and good for the national team, but it’s fun that he can now be the deciding factor for us.”
Poland head coach Paulo Sousa felt his side had not done themselves justice after finishing bottom of the group with just one point and that several players had not been fully fit.
“We have a good number of injuries, key injuries, and it’s important to put it in perspective,” he told a press conference.
“When all the players are fit to perform, I’m quite sure we will become really stronger because we’ve shown so far great development and also in the mentality.”
“It’s true our first goal was to go through the group phase. We are disappointed, myself, my staff, all our players.
“We deserved much more than what we got, but we need to be much stronger in the near future.”
Sousa said his contract runs until the end of the World Cup qualifiers and he hoped to continue in the role.
The former Portugal defender added: “Like I said to my players in our dressing room, it is an honour and I have lots of respect for the job.
“We’re growing a lot as a team and a family and have everything in place to make sure in the near future that we will be much stronger.”