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Swedes one step closer to Champions League

Sweden is a step closer to having a team in this season's Champions League, after Malmö FF knocked out Israel's Maccabi Haifa in the first qualifying round.

After winning the first leg in Sweden 3-2, Malmö needed a draw to go through. But twice the Swedes were worried after Maccabi went 1-0 and then 2-1 ahead.

But with five minutes remaining, substitute Peter Abelsson was brought on. Moments later he scored what he described as “the most important goal of my career” to send the Swedes through.

Malmö will now face the Swiss side Thun, who sensationally knocked out the Ukranian giants Dynamo Kiev. The matches against Thun will be played on the 9th or 10th and 23rd or 24th of August.

The winner of that tie will go through to the lucrative group stage of the Champions League, while the losers will enjoy the compensation of a UEFA Cup place.

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Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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