Sweden survive Faroes fright
Ibrahimovic nets winner in tight Group C clash
Last Updated: 12/10/12 7:29pm
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Netted late winner to spare Sweden¿s blushes
Zlatan Ibrahimovic denied the Faroe Islands a famous World Cup qualifying victory over Sweden, with his goal and assist enough to cancel out Rogvi Baldvinsson's shock opener.
The north Atlantic minnows had defied expectations in keeping their illustrious visitors at bay until the break, and Baldvinsson's cool conversion increased the pressure on Erik Hamren's men.
A tame Sweden had just enough bite to avoid embarrassment, though, Ibrahimovic setting up Alex Kacaniklic before rubberstamping the points himself in the 75th minute.
The hosts had goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen to thank for keeping them alive until half-time, with the ex-Manchester City man making a string of fine saves.
Ibrahimovic proved a constant threat, forcing a couple of desperate parries from Nielsen in the first 30 minutes, with Mathias Ranegie also foiled by the resilient stopper.
The islanders began to grow in confidence and soon began to push Sweden back into their own half, but it took another confident block from Nielsen to keep Ibrahimovic's powerful drive out of the net before the break.
Lars Olsen's charges continued to work tirelessly and got their reward in the 56th minute, Baldvinsson streaking away to celebrate after finding the bottom corner of Andreas Isaksson's net.
But Sweden would not have to wait long to set the record straight as Kacaniklic drilled home Ibrahimovic's weighted pass eight minutes later.
Either from the giddiness of having taken the lead or the shock of having surrendered it so quickly, the Faroe Islands conceded again in the 75th minute.
Provider turned goalscorer as Ibrahimovic slotted home to spare Sweden's blushes and guarantee a second victory in Group C.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Fri 12th Oct - Group F
Russia1 - 0Portugal
Luxembourg0 - 6Israel
Fri 12th Oct - Group I
Finland1 - 1Georgia
Belarus0 - 4Spain
Fri 12th Oct - Group B
Czech Rep3 - 1Malta
Armenia1 - 3Italy
Bulgaria1 - 1Denmark
Fri 12th Oct - Group C
Faroe Isl1 - 2Sweden
Kazakhstan0 - 0Austria
Rep Ire1 - 6Germany
Fri 12th Oct - Group E
Albania1 - 2Iceland
Switzerlnd1 - 1Norway
Slovenia2 - 1Cyprus
Fri 12th Oct - Group G
Liechtenstein0 - 2Lithuania
Slovakia2 - 1Latvia
Greece0 - 0Bos&Herz
Fri 12th Oct - Group D
Turkey0 - 1Romania
Holland3 - 0Andorra
Estonia0 - 1Hungary
Fri 12th Oct - Group H
Moldova0 - 0Ukraine
England5 - 0S Marino
Fri 12th Oct - Group A
Serbia0 - 3Belgium
Macedonia1 - 2Croatia
Wales2 - 1Scotland
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||10||14|
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
|1||Bosnia and Herzegovina||10||25|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I