Sweden start with a win
Last Updated: September 11, 2012 9:55pm
Sweden celebrate Rasmus Elm's goal.
Goals from Rasmus Elm and Marcus Berg ensured Sweden made a winning start to their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan.
The Scandinavians had sat out last week's round of fixtures, but gave their Group C opponents food for thought with a workmanlike performance in Malmo.
Sweden dominated the early stages but had little to show for their efforts with the exception of a 12-yard drive from Elm which was high of the target.
Pontus Wernbloom could also have done better with a corner from Sebastian Larsson after 21 minutes which the CSKA Moscow midfielder volleyed past the right post.
Johan Elmander was wasteful with another opening soon after but Sweden's pressure finally paid off after 38 minutes when Mikael Lustig's ball in from the left was turned into the net by Elm.
The same player had another chance two minutes before the interval but this time pushed his shot wide of the right post in another let-off for Kazakhstan.
Sweden should have made it 2-0 at the start of the second half when Larsson whipped in a cross for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the Paris St Germain striker saw his header tipped round the post by visiting goalkeeper Andrey Sidelnikov.
Kazakhstan had a rare sight of goal after 60 minutes when Pavel Shabalin saw his 12-yard strike cleared by Jonas Olsson.
At the other end, Sidelnikov was called into action again after 69 minutes when he saved a testing drive from Emir Bajrami with his feet.
Home goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson had not been tested so far but his first touch of the ball five minutes from time was a crucial one as he palmed away a strike from Mikhail Rozhkov.
And Sweden made sure of the win in the fourth minute of stoppage time when substitute Berg put the finishing touch to Ibrahimovic's cross.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 11th Sep - Group E
Cyprus1 - 0Iceland
Norway2 - 1Slovenia
Switzerland2 - 0Albania
Tue 11th Sep - Group F
Israel0 - 4Russia
N Ireland1 - 1Luxembourg
Portugal3 - 0Azerbaijan
Tue 11th Sep - Group I
Georgia0 - 1Spain
France3 - 1Belarus
Tue 11th Sep - Group D
Romania4 - 0Andorra
Turkey3 - 0Estonia
Hungary1 - 4Netherlands
Tue 11th Sep - Group B
Bulgaria1 - 0Armenia
Italy2 - 0Malta
Tue 11th Sep - Group G
Bosnia4 - 1Latvia
Slovakia2 - 0Liechtenstein
Greece2 - 0Lithuania
Tue 11th Sep - Group A
Serbia6 - 1Wales
Belgium1 - 1Croatia
Scotland1 - 1Macedonia
Tue 11th Sep - Group H
San Marino0 - 6Montenegro
Poland2 - 0Moldova
England1 - 1Ukraine
Tue 11th Sep - Group C
Sweden2 - 0Kazakhstan
Austria1 - 2Germany
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||6||11|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I