Even the sheer, unadulterated genius of Robert Lewandowski couldn’t deliver Poland into the Euros knockouts.
But he came damn close, with two moments of sheer class that gave this enthralling tie a dramatic, thrilling finale.
Lewandowski’s sheer will dragged his nation back into the game, and within touching distance of clawing their way out of Group E….but in the agonising final seconds, was denied by a dramatic goal from Sweden sub Viktor Claeson.
And if that was rough justice on the best striker in Europe, then it at least gave the Swedes star Emil Forsberg his glory, after two goals of his own that almost outshone even the great Lewandowski.
It gave Jan Andersson’s battling team not only a pulsating 3-2 victory, but top place in the group above Spain, and the coach said:
“Emil likes to do these things, he fights and makes the difference for us. He has shown the ability to step up for us to really be the deciding factor.
“And it gave us what we deserved, my team were warriors, they fought for 90 minutes in this game, and to do that against such a good Poland side, with Lewandowski playing like that, made me proud.”
On the heartbreak of the Polish talisman Andersson added: “He’s a world class player who showed his brilliance against us, and I am incredibly happy we handled that and still managed the victory.”
It was Forsberg’s two goals that swung the game, a strike after just a minute and 22 seconds when he won two challenges and fired in the corner, and then a stunning 59th minute finish after a mazy run from sub Dejan Kulusevski.
But Lewandowski wouldn’t go down without a hell of a fight, and first he showed sheer class with run from half way to cut in and fire into the top corner, then with seven minutes remaining, a trademark turn and finish.
Poland had chances in a breathless finale to win and qualify, but somehow the Swedes survived, and then Claesen struck deftly on the break to put his side on top of the group.