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Team History

WORLD CUP HISTORY Sweden
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES
12
WORLD CUP RECORD
16-13-14
BEST FINISH
Runners-Up (1958)
GOALS SCORED (RANK)
74 (11th)
Sweden’s first World Cup match ended in victory, a 3-2 win over Argentina. The team then advanced to play Germany in the Quarter-finals but lost 2-1. Germany went on to finish third in the tournament.
FINISH
4th
A First Round matchup with Austria was never played after the country was annexed by Germany a few months prior to the World Cup. Sweden moved in to the Quarter-finals, where it crushed Cuba 8-0 in the country’s only World Cup appearance. Sweden then lost to Hungary in the Semi-finals and to Brazil in the third-place game.
1942
1946
World Cup Not Held
FINISH
3rd
Sweden defeated Italy and drew against Paraguay in the Group Stage to advance to the Final Round. Grouped with Uruguay, Brazil and Spain, Sweden took third place with a 1-0-2 record.
Did Not Participate
FINISH
2nd
HOST
Sweden missed the 1954 World Cup but qualified automatically in 1958 thanks to its duties as host. A 2-1-0 record in the Group Stage advanced Sweden to the Knockout Stage. The team then defeated the Soviet Union and West Germany, the defending champions, to reach the Final. A 5-2 loss to Brazil gave Sweden a runner-up finish.
1962
1966
Did Not Participate
With a 1-1-1 record in group play, Sweden was on the verge of advancing to the Knockout Stage. However, the team lost out on goal differential to another 1-1-1 team, Uruguay, despite delivering Uruguay’s lone loss.
Revenge against Uruguay came four years later, when Sweden defeated the Uruguay 3-0 in the final game of the Group Stage. With a 1-2-0 record, Sweden advanced to the Second Round, ultimately finishing as the fifth-ranked team.
Sweden allowed just three goals in the Group Stage but scored only one, finishing with a record of 0-1-2. Sweden’s draw came against Brazil, the eventual third-place finisher.
1982
1986
Did Not Participate
The worst World Cup performance from Sweden came in 1990. Grouped with Brazil, Costa Rica and Scotland, Sweden finished 0-0-3. Each game resulted in a 2-1 loss.
FINISH
3rd
Coming off a poor showing in 1990, Sweden responded with one of its best outings. After reaching the Knockout Stage, Sweden defeated Saudi Arabia and Romania before losing 1-0 to Brazil, a team it had tied in the Group Stage. In the third-place game, Sweden beat Bulgaria 4-0.
Did Not Participate
Not only did Sweden advanced from a “Group of Death” that included England, Argentina and Nigeria, it captured the top position as well. The stay was short in the Knockout Stage though, as Senegal defeated Sweden in extra time in the Round of 16.
Sweden again advanced to the Knockout Stage on the strength of a 1-2-0 record, and again bowed out in the Round of 16. This time, Germany eliminated Sweden on its way to capturing third place.
2010
2014
Did Not Participate
After finishing runner-up to France in its UEFA group qualifier, Sweden was pitted against Italy in the Second Round, with the winner receiving a spot in the 2018 World Cup. Sweden prevailed 1-0 and ended Italy’s streak of 14 straight World Cup appearances.

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