Ireland made it hard for us, says Hamren

Swedish coach Eric Hamren praised Ireland after Martin O’Neill’s side frustrated his team with a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2016, Group E opener in Paris on Monday.

A disappointing Sweden were somewhat fortunate to come away with a draw after a spirited Ireland side took the lead early in the second half.

An own goal from Ciaran Clark eventually saved the Swede’s blushes, and Hamren was full of admiration for his opponent’s display.

“They did a good job of disturbing us, making it difficult for our back-four, winning first and second balls, said Hamren. “That’s how they created the chances they did in the first half.

“In the first half, in particular, our own attacking play was not good. But full credit to Ireland for how they kept us under pressure, not giving us time.”

Hamren was equally happy with the way his team responded after going a goal down.

“We got things together more the way I was wanting us to,” said Hamren.

“We passed quicker, we made better use of moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other; we made better use of our left-back Martin Olsson. It was also from that side that many of our second-half chances were created,” he added.

Hamren saw his side fail to create many chances despite having 53 percent of possession, but he remained optimistic about Sweden’s chances, adding “I think it is absolutely possible for us to qualify.”