Danny Welbeck's 78th minute winner capped a remarkable England turnaround and put Roy Hodgson's men on the brink of the European Championship quarter-finals after their first-ever competitive victory over Sweden in Kiev.
Andy Carroll, preferred to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the draw with France, headed England ahead, as they dominated the first half.
But after the interval, Sweden, fighting for their lives in the competition, hit back twice as Olof Mellberg first struck after Zlatan Ibrahimovic's deflected shot wasn't cleared by England, and then again as he headed home from Seb Larsson's free-kick.
The introduction of Theo Walcott then coincided with England's resurgence in the second half, as the Arsenal winger thumped home England's leveller within five minutes of his introduction.
And Walcott then crossed for Welbeck to flick home the winner with 12 minutes on the clock, as England grabbed a win that knocks Sweden out of Euro 2012, while handing themselves the initiative in the race to reach the last-eight.
After dominate proceedings for much of the opening 45 minutes, manager Hodgson will be concerned at how easily Sweden eased their way back into the contest, however, after earning a reputation for a solid, defensive style of play, their sterling comeback suggests there is more to come.
Hodgson will take solace from his selection of Carroll, which paid off after 24 minutes in the Ukraine capital, as the Liverpool striker header home from Steven Gerrard's brilliant cross.
Like they did against France on Monday, England began to drop deep, and eventually suffered as Mellberg drew Sweden level, despite the best efforts of Glen Johnson on the line.
The former Juventus defender then put Erik Hamren's side ahead, nodding home after Larsson's inch-perfect free-kick.
Following an assured defensive display against France, England's statutory back-four will be of concern to Hodgson, but he will have been impressed by the desire shown by a side often accused of lacking heart.
After Andras Isaksson brilliantly saved from John Terry, Walcott hammered home from the edge of the box, and then crossed for Welbeck, who manufactured a flicked finish which gives England the most crucial of wins heading into their final Group D game against Ukraine on Tuesday.