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Swedes leave it late to beat San Marino

Swedes leave it late to beat San Marino

Published: 07 Sep 2011 07:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Sep 2011 07:50 GMT+02:00

The win, a prerequisite to keeping Sweden on course for pipping Hungary to the second spot in Group E, long looked uncertain as a remodelled line up struggled to break down the determined part-timers of San Marino.

After the crushing 1-2 loss to Hungary on Friday, Sweden coach Erik Hamrén rang the changes. Left back Oscar Wendt, given much of the blame for the loss, was dropped and Sunderland's Sebastien Larsson and midfield stalwart Anders Svensson had to make do with a spot on the bench.

Sweden huffed and puffed in a first half that was characterised by a series of half chances for the blue and yellows. Johan Elmander and Olo Toivonen, deployed in 'the hole' behind Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, were guilty of the worst misses of the half.

It wasn't until San Marino had Davide Simoncini sent off that the Swedes finally moved up the gears, with the match well into its final third.

The impressive Kim Källström broke the deadlock in the 64th minute, quickly followed by Christian Wilhelmsson six minutes later. With the home side's valiant defence broken the result never looked in doubt after that.

Deputy left back Martin Olsson scored the third and Tobias Hysén, son of the former Liverpool legend Glenn, claimed the fourth with a sweet left foot finish.

Wilhemsson, back in the Swedish line for this week's qualifiers after a long period in the international wilderness, completed the rout in stoppage time.

Sweden are now in second place in Group E thanks to a superior goal difference from their matches against Hungary, and with a game less played.

Sweden's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign comes to a close with matches away in Finland and at home to The Netherlands in the beginning of October.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

10:26 September 7, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
...no English style tabloids here: otherwise it would have been

'Turnips 0 Swedes 5' Lol!

Lets face it, San Marino are the whipping boys of the group - they're there so the other teams can get some practice at scoring goals
15:49 September 7, 2011 by StockholmSam
If it took getting a San Marino player sent off the pitch to win that game, Sweden is in big trouble.
18:07 September 7, 2011 by Rolle
Apart from Chippen, the team played horribly. They'll get to EM, but then it's gonna be a massacre
19:08 September 7, 2011 by Smallnose
San Marino, according to Wikipedia: a country the size of a football field and a population of two teams.
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