Zlatan Ibrahimovic really can carry all of Sweden on his shoulders — or his feet.

Ibrahimovic, the captain of the Swedish national soccer team, scored twice as he led the Blågult to a 4-3 aggregate win over Scandinavian rivals Denmark on November 17 in Copenhagen. The win propelled Sweden into the final field of 24 teams in the UEFA European Champions next June in France.

Ibrahimovic scored once in each half as he staked Sweden to a 2-0 in the second leg of the home-and-home playoff. Both Sweden and Denmark finished third in their qualifying groups, setting up the showdown between the Nordic neighbors. Sweden went into the match with a 2-1 overall lead after beating the Danes November 15 at Friends Arena in Solna. Denmark mounted a furious comeback in the closing minutes, finally capitalizing on their superior play in much of the game to draw level in injury time. The match ended in a 2-2 draw, giving Sweden a 4-3 aggregate win.

"How much do we owe Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Of course, a lot, but we are a team and everyone works really hard," said striker Marcus Berg, who partnered with Ibrahimovic up front. "Of course, it's a blessing to have him up front to score these important goals. He's really important but everyone did a massive job today. He is a big name across the world, and now he is playing in France, he has a lot of fans there. It's nice for everyone that we can go there — it will be my first major tournament, so I am really happy."

The match marked the 106th meeting between the two nations, and for Denmark, it was win or miss out on the second-most prestigious soccer tournament in the world. Only the World Cup draws more attention than the European Championship, and the Danes came out swinging in the second leg. Yussuf Poulsen nearly put the Danes in front after just eight minutes when he put a shot on goal that midfielder Kim Källström tried to clear, only to put the ball off the cross bar.

The Danes held possession for much of the first half but found themselves a goal down when Ibrahimovic struck for the first time. Källström made up for his near own-goal in the 17th minute when he struck a corner kick that found Ibrahimovic. The Paris Saint-Germain striker redirected the cross with the inside of his right foot, sending the ball into the far corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

The goal changed the complexion of the match. Although Denmark entered the game trailing by a goal, the tally the Danes scored in Sweden, under international rules, it would count as two in case of a split in the series. If Denmark won the second leg 1-0, for example, the two teams would be level on goals at 2-2, but Denmark would win the tie-breaker 3-2 thanks to its away goal. Ibrahimovic’s goal put Denmark in a position where it now had to score at least twice to advance.

Sweden, which outplayed Denmark in the first leg, went into the second leg fully aware of the away goals rule. Head coach Erik Hamren used Ibrahimovic almost as a lone striker while the rest of his side played defense. For Berg, it was a somewhat new experience.

"The first game we played well, I think, and today was a lot of defending. It was really tough," he said. "Normally, I am not a striker that drops [back to defend] but today I had to do it."

Sweden went into the interval clinging to its 1-0 lead. After the break, the Swedes began to counterattack with more urgency as Denmark had to push forward in search of an equalizer. Ibrahimovic made the Danes pay at the 76-minute mark when he won a free kick just outside the penalty area. Despite facing a five-man defensive wall, the Sweden captain hit a sizzling shot that curved around the wall and somehow squeezed past Danish goal keeper Caspar Schmeichel at the near post to give the Blågult a 2-0 lead.

It should have iced the game for Sweden, but Denmark mounted a furious last-minute comeback. Poulsen rose up over the Swedish defense to head in a goal with nine minutes left to play, restoring Danish hopes. The Danes continued to pen Sweden in its own end and as regulation time ran out, Yannick Vestergaard beat Swedish goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson to pull Denmark level. It was, however, too late for the Danes to press home their attack and the Swedes managed to hang on for the win.

"It means everything to qualify," said midfielder Emil Forsberg, who was part of the Under-21 team that beat Denmark to claim the Under-21 European Championship. "It was an ambition we always had and we got a tough opponent in Denmark, but we knew that if we played well it would be hard to beat us — and today we had a great defense. We played well and we played smart and then we scored two fantastic goals."

Sweden ended a run of five games against Denmark without a win when it beat Denmark 2-1 on November 15 at Friends Arena in the first leg of the playoff. In a tight opening period, Denmark's Schmeichel was the busier of the goalkeepers. Marcus Berg forced Schmeichel to make an acrobatic save on his 18th-minute close-range effort, and then Ibrahimovic, in the final second of the first, forced Schmeichel to make an even more impressive save as he got his left palm to a ball that was soaring toward the top corner. Seconds later, Forsberg fired Sweden in front as he beat Schmeichel for his first international goal. Jimmy Durmaz combined nicely with Mikael Lustig down the right for Sweden, and the full-back sent in a low cross that Forsberg one-timed into the goal.

Five minutes after the break, Ibrahimovic put Sweden up 2-0. The Swedish captain had never scored against Denmark but was cool as ever as he beat Schmeichel from the penalty spot. Forsberg drew the penalty when Thomas Kahlenberg tripped him in the area and Ibrahimovic put the ball firmly past Schmeichel for his 60th international strike.

Sweden thereafter looked in control, with Denmark able to force little but the odd corner. Yet it was from one such set piece that Nicolai Jorgensen was able to open his own national-team account, sliding in to make it 2-1 after fellow substitute Poulsen had flicked on Christian Eriksen's dead ball.