Zlatan fires Sweden closer to Germany 2006
The Local · 8 Sep 2005, 10:45
Published: 08 Sep 2005 10:45 GMT+02:00
Another Swedish victory, another wave of adoration for the yellow-and-blues' Mr Goals, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This time, he fired his nation to an important 1-0 victory over Hungary.
The win propelled Sweden to the top of group eight after rivals for the top spot, Croatia, could only manage a 1-1 draw against lowly Malta.
"The World Cup in Germany is close," said DN, its reporter doubtless holding his thumbs as he typed.
A lively start soon drifted into mediocrity and it wasn't until the 43rd minute that Sweden had a real chance on goal. Zlatan - who else - drove a free kick low into the penalty area but the header from Larsson failed to hit the target.
As the second half drew on, Huungary pushed forward, knowing that a defeat would rule them out of a place at the World Cup Finals next year.
Nine minutes from time, Sweden upped the pressure with another free kick, but it wasn't until the 90th minute that Hungary's fate was sealed.
Zlatan picked up the ball on the right side of the Hungary penalty area, lost his marker and belted a shot into the top corner of the goal.
Budapest was silenced, unable to comprehend the angle-defying shot that had ended their slim World Cup hopes.
"Sweden wasn't lucky," wrote Simon Bank in Aftonbladet. "We had Zlatan Ibrahimovic."
Moments later the goal hero threw up on a pitchside advertisement.
"My stomach was giving me problems," Zlatan told Expressen, putting it down to exhaustion.
"But it was nothing."