World Cup qualifying: Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace helps Sweden beat Faroe Islands
Last Updated: 11/06/13 10:50pm
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the two-goal hero
Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck twice as Sweden defeated the Faroe Islands 2-0 at Solna and moved into third place in World Cup qualifying Group C.
Ibrahimovic fired the home side ahead in the first half before he slotted home a late penalty after he was fouled by Atli Gregersen.
Sweden had been reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining when Andreas Granqvist was sent off following a poor challenge on Frodi Benjaminsen, leaving them to defend their slender lead a man down.
However, Paris St Germain striker Ibrahimovic calmed the home crowd's nerves with a coolly-taken penalty as they claimed a vital three points and put themselves five points behind leaders Germany and on par with Austria and the Republic of Ireland.
Faroe Islands goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen was kept busy throughout the game, and if it was not for his athleticism, the visitors would have suffered a much heavier defeat.
Nielsen denied headers by Ola Toivonen and Ibrahimovic early on before Alex Kacaniklic saw his effort ruled out for offside.
However, Ibrahimovic broke the deadlock 10 minutes later thanks to a good counter-attacking move which saw Mikael Lustig fire the ball into the penalty are for the striker to head in.
Toivonen put a chance over the bar before the break and Sweden picked up where they left off in the second period, with Nielsen making another fine save before Frodi Benjaminsen tested Par Hansson for the first time in the match.
Sweden continued to dominate and despite the sending off of Granqvist, they never looked likely to lose, with Ibrahimovic sealing the win from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute.
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