A superb Andy Carroll header earned England a 1-0 halftime lead over Sweden in their Euro 2012 Group D clash on Friday.

Carroll, who was brought in for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to exploit Sweden's weakness in the air, headed home from near the penalty spot from Steven Gerrard's cross to give Roy Hodgson's team a deserved advantage in the 23rd minute.

England, who drew their first game against France, had the first clear chance when Scott Parker unleashed an unexpected 25-metre drive, forcing Andreas Isaksson to stretch to palm away in the ninth minute.

Pointless Sweden looked toothless up front until Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a 20-metre deflected shot saved by Joe Hart in the 33rd minute.

The kickoff was delayed by 15 minutes after the other Group D game between France and Ukraine was suspended for almost an hour due to lighting and thunder.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)