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Zlatan hat trick helps Sweden thrash Finland

Zlatan hat trick helps Sweden thrash Finland

Published: 08 Jun 2011 07:48 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Jun 2011 07:48 GMT+02:00

Swedish captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench to score three goals as the national side cruised to a 5-0 victory in their Euro 2012 qualifier against visiting Finland on Tuesday night.

"It feels great. Three goals, an assist and we won – that's the most important," Ibrahimovic said at a postgame press conference.

Despite starting the game on the bench due to concerns about an injured foot, the AC Milan star came in as a substitute in the 25th minute and quickly made his mark

Six minutes after stepping on to the pitch, Ibrahimovic collected a feed from Kim Källström and sent a thundering shot past Finnish goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola, giving Sweden a two goal lead.

A few minutes later, Ibrahimovic found himself alone in front of the Finnish goal after a nifty feed from Sebastian Larsson and had no trouble scoring Sweden's third goal of the half.

But the big Swede wasn't finished.

In the 53rd minute, a free kick by Källström sailed over players in the penalty area, including a helpless Jaakkola, who could only watch as Ibrahimovic headed the ball into the back of the net, giving Sweden a more or less insurmountable 4-0 lead against the shell shocked Finns.

In the closing minutes, Ibrahimovic sent a pinpoint pass to teammate Emir Bajrami, who ended the onslaught of Swedish scoring by deftly chipping the ball into the net.

The victory gives Sweden a total of 15 points in Group E of the Euro 2012 qualifying rounds, three points behind group leading Netherlands, while third place Hungary has 12 points.

"We take one match at time. We get better every time we meet," Ibrahimovic said after the match.

"These last two matches have worked really well and we've won the matches. That's what we want to do."

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:22 June 8, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
The word is "rout" not "route".
11:51 June 8, 2011 by Beavis
All 3 were tap ins, one was even in the box with no goalkeeper to beat.Any ten year old playing in the park could have scored them. His team mates as per ususal did all the wrork to set him up, he usually misses or falls over himself but manage not to mis the sitters last night
13:33 June 8, 2011 by canam
Man Beavis - this guy can never win you over. 3 goals/1 assist in any world match is fantastic.
14:25 June 8, 2011 by chima_arsenal
I am not his biggest fan, but to be honest, he did well yesterday. He was even more of a team player and his goals were due to his perfect positioning otherwise i think he was more focused on holding the ball up and passing which is what a very good team player does. Finland is not the best side, but if the swedish team keep playing like they did yesterday then the future is bright.
15:35 June 8, 2011 by Rick Methven
@canam

Beavis is just upset that his prediction (See below) did not come true

"Sweden were great via Moldova mainly due to Zlatan missing, they played as a team and got a good result. As soon as he comes back they will start hoofing the ball to Zlatan so he can miss from 20cm out (like he has in his last 7 international matches) I think its good news that he is in the Swedish team as Im really hoping for a Finnish win tonight.Get te ball to Zlatan so he can miss just doesnt work and hasnt worked"
22:10 June 8, 2011 by Rolle
Beavis is a Butthead
10:58 June 9, 2011 by Angusthefirst
@ Beavis

What a joke. Constant criticism of Zlatan, now even a hat/trick and an assist is criticised due to goals being "tap-ins." Have you ever played football?? Well I have for years as a striker and know that getting in a position to score is almost as important as scoring. You surely must be taking the p%ss with this criticism and Rick bringing up your earlier quote shows why. Nostradamus you ain't.

Criticising Zlatan is as popular on the comments section of these papers as criticising immigrants. Zlatan is also an immigrant. Coincidence??
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