Stuart Pearce ended England's semi-final spot-kick hoodoo as his under-21s defeated Sweden 5-4 on penalties after extra-time - following a 3-3 draw - to reach the European Under-21 Championship final.

Pearce lost at the last-four stage twice as a player and as a coach two years ago - but it looked like his youngsters would cruise to victory in Gothenburg after leading at half-time through Martin Cranie, Nedum Onuoha and Mattias Bjarsmyr's own goal.

The Swedes then staged a stunning revival at Gamla Ullevi and levelled through two goals from Marcus Berg and another from Ola Toivonen before Fraizer Campbell was sent off for England in extra-time.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart was booked to rule him out of the final but also scored one and saved one, sending England through.

It was James Milner who took the corner that saw England lead after just 53 seconds. Micah Richards jumped for the ball initially but it found its way to Cranie, who took a touch with his chest before volleying home with the help of Gabriel Agbonlahor jumping over the ball in front of Sweden goalkeeper Johan Dahlin.

While Bjarsmyr was being treated off the field, England grabbed the second. It was a Milner corner again, with Onuoha this time allowed to take a touch close to the six-yard area, turn Rasmus Bengtsson and fire into the bottom corner.

It got worse for Bjarsmyr before the break when he tried to clear Lee Cattermole's header from Theo Walcott's cross but sliced into his own net.

The Swedes eventually forced their way into the game and Berg gave Sweden a glimmer of hope with 22 minutes remaining when he turned in Guillermo Molins' cross.

Jack Rodwell came on for Mark Noble to shore up the midfield, but Toivonen found the net from a free-kick to give the Swedes real hope, then the equaliser came with nine minutes left. Molins crossed from the right again, Rasmus Elm flicked backwards at the far post, with Berg applying the final touch.

Campbell received his second booking of the match during extra-time when he challenged with Mikael Lustig, and he had stormed off the pitch even before the red card had been shown.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Joe Hart
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Football
James Milner
Championship
Lee Cattermole
Mark Noble
Stuart Pearce
Nedum Onuoha
Micah Richards
Martin Cranie
Fraizer Campbell
Theo Walcott
Jack Rodwell