The first group E match kicked off, with Republic of Ireland facing off against the Swedish. This was the first match of the group of death and it looked like the Irish were heading towards their first win of the tournament courtesy of a good shot on the half volley by Wes Hoolahan but the Irish were pegged back when Ciaran Clark scored an equalizer for the Swedes and the match ended all square.
The Irish started the game well and brought the first save out of Isaksson early in the match when Hendrick released a ferocious shot at goal.
Ireland continued to assert their dominance in the match with the next chance falling to O’ Shea who just couldn’t stretch enough to put his team in the lead. Sweden had hardly had any impact on the game in the opening 20 minutes and their talisman Zlatan was well man marked by Glen Whelan and failed to have any impact on the game.
Ireland again threatened the Swedish goal when Hendricks released a ferocious shot only to see it cannon back off the crossbar. Ireland sustained pressure finally bore fruit early in the second half when Coleman delivered a beautiful cross and Hoolahan could not have timed the shot any better and the Isaksson had no chance of saving that.
But the goal brought Sweden up from their lull and they took the game to the Irish in the final 30 minutes with Ibrahimovic going close with his header.
Sweden soon got back in the game in the 71st minute when a lovely move by them culminated in Ibrahimovic releasing a cross across the 6 yard box and Ciaran Clark could just deflect it in the back of the net. Ireland tried to summon a similar response and brought on R. Keane to put his side back in front.
Both teams were trying for the winner in the final 10 minutes but no clear chances emerged and both had to settle for a point in the first match of the so called group of death.