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FOOTBALL

Euro 2008: Sweden battle past Group F minnows

Sweden battled past a stubborn Liechtenstein in their Euro 2008 qualifier on Wednesday night in Gothenburg.

Two goals from Marcus Allbäck and one from substitute Markus Rosenberg spared Sweden’s blushed, after the minnows of Group F threatened to hold on for an embarrassing draw.

After 49 seconds the question of whether Sweden would miss disgraced striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was sent home on Sunday night after a late night out, appeared to be resolved.

A rasping volley from Allbäck settled the home side’s nerves – only for them to be unsettled by a Liechtenstein equalizer after 27 minutes.

Sweden, and primarily Allbäck, missed chance after chance and it wasn’t until the 70th minute that Allbäck broke the deadlock.

Two minutes from time, captain Freddie Ljungberg had the chance to make it three – but his penalty was blasted wide.

Moments later Rosenberg reacted to head a Linderoth cross into the net.

“We had so many chances, we should have killed the match right at the beginning,” said coach Lars Lagerbäck afterwards.

He also admitted that the job would have been easier with Zlatan, Olof Mellberg and Christian Wilhelmsson on the pitch.

“Obviously I would have preferred to see the three dismissed players here instead. It’s going to be a lot harder against Spain and Iceland.”

Sweden now top Group F with six points from two matches.

FOOTBALL

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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