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Danes end Sweden's World Cup dream

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 11 Oct 2009, 09:22

Published: 11 Oct 2009 09:22 GMT+02:00

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Sweden's coach Lars Lagerbäck took a team determined to make amends for a 0-1 home defeat in Solna in June and promised that his team would "own Parken" stadium.

But despite the industry expected of a Swedish national team the match and the result leave Sweden's World Cup dream hanging by a Maltese thread after Portugal disposed of Hungary 3-0 at home in Lisbon.

While the Danes can celebrate claiming the automatic qualification spot, Sweden in third are now hoping that the minnows of Malta can cause an upset when they travel to Lisbon in the final round of group 1 games.

A hectic match, low on quality but high on passion and commitment, was decided by a Jakob Poulsen goal in the 79th minute.

The Swedes managed to find the net on two occasions in a strong second half display only for the efforts to be ruled out for offside, and ball out of play.

As expected Barcelona star Zlatan Ibrahimovic was at the heart of most of the Swedish attacks although the Danish rearguard, marshalled by Liverpool defender Daniel Agger, keep the clear chances to a minimum.

Lars Lagerbäck, who has taken Sweden to five straight major championship finals, was visibly shaken in the post-match press conference but refused to call time on either his tenure or the Swedish hopes of reaching South Africa.

"It is not over before all the matches have been played and all the points counted," Lagerbäck underlined.

Story continues below…

Sweden now remain on 15 points with Portugal, in second on 16 points and with a superior goal difference.

The Swedes will need a win against Albania on Wednesday and a Maltese miracle to get out of what has long since come to be known as the group of death.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:50 October 11, 2009 by Maymotti
The title should be "Sweden ends Sweden's World cup dreams" Simply because there is no proper Swedish football team. No matter how great Zlatan is, he alone cannot play for the entire team. Sweden has great potential if they start changing their coach, and believing in Football more than hokey, Anna Anka and Idol!
11:48 October 11, 2009 by Beavis
"It is not over before all the matches have been played and all the points counted," Lagerbäck underlined.

Sack him! Useless manager.If Zlatan would stop throwing himself on the ground and playing with his hair he can be a quality player. Sweden sat back for 80 minutes and only really tried the last 10..
12:19 October 11, 2009 by Seltue12
Zlatan is not really good as most Swedes think he is. I think Henrik Larsson will alway remain the best striker Sweden has ever produced. Yesterday game prove that and eventhough his goal was cancel this guy work for the sake of the team unlike useless Zlatan.

Look around, Big players make the different in big game but as usual Zlatan was just weak. As tall as he is..little Danes defenders over shallow him in the game. Look at Eto' (Cameroon), Essien (Ghana), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Roodney (England) , Donovan (from my Country USA), etc theses players single handed led their respective national team to qualify for the world yesterday but did Zlatan? They guy never had a real impact on the game with the Danes yesterday and couldn't even stay on his feet. What a disgrace!
13:07 October 11, 2009 by EtoileBrilliant

May you be struck down by lighting! Zlaten is a one trick pony who has never (and most Swedes refuse to believe this) been ranked in the top 3 FIFA player of the year.

He's good but not brilliant. My biggest problem with this match is that most of the Swedish press wrote off Denmark. When I last looked Denmark were ranked #16 and Sweden were ranked #41. The picture in DN summed it up for me. A tall Swede patting a little Dane on the head.

Hopefully they will sack all of them and bring in the U21 squad where Sweden actually has quality.
13:30 October 11, 2009 by sherkovic
I think its the time for the OLD MAN to hung up his boot. Would have been a better to give chance to some youngster instead of playing in a crucial game with a 38 year forward....

The simply dont have intellegent playmaker in the team. Need a holding midfielder and a playmaker.
13:46 October 11, 2009 by Mike #1986
first the coach what a LOSER he should have been sacked years ago.

second Henke Larsson please his 38 years old F### OFF!!!

third what is zlatan to do..he doesn't produce magic like messi..ronaldo..kaka ...his a gun player only when playing with stars.

and fourth the final crusher ..I didn't watch the game I stop watching sweden play years ago because they have no business in the real arena of world football..thers no talent in Swedish football today and the way they play is super boring to watch.
15:10 October 11, 2009 by Aureliano Buendia
1. Zlatan does not give his all capacity for national team

2. It is time to change style of the team, though I think u have really good players: Svensson and still injured Linderoth, Hysen and Barkroth are hq players.

3. I really wonder why at the age of 13-18 swedish kids are so good in football, but when they grow u cant find any normal player but exceptions Ibra, Larsson
17:33 October 11, 2009 by Atlas
To swedes, STOP belive Zlatan is the answer to miracles in the game...He is part of it, he's just not IT...

Hope for a Maltese miracle (like what they did onto you last match, minus result) and pray that Albania doesn't get a point in Solna...Although i'm looking to get a point in Solna


18:25 October 11, 2009 by delusion1982
I though the match was really good and exciting. The Swedish team played really with high passion, though a big chaotic here and there. Nonetheless, the Danes have a better team management.
23:54 October 11, 2009 by DaTraveler
Zlatan is a pretty fantastic player but plays crap for the NT, part of that is due to the makeup and rather crappy tactics by the coach and the rest is due to him not giving his all. Marcus Berg, the Elm brothers and a few more will ensure Sweden head to the 2012 Euro's.

02:38 October 12, 2009 by bira
Agree with Mike #1986, Swedish football is boring. Always plays to not lose, not to win unless they are behind. I have never seen them play to win if a tie can get them where they need to be...play to win and you might actually win, play to not lose and you will likely lose!
09:05 October 12, 2009 by Mahfuzur
I am upset as a fan! I don't like to watch FIFA world cup 2010 except Sweden. I would say to football team to concentrate on next match against Albenia. I believe, Sweden has still a chance to qualify if Malta can win over Portugal on 14th October.
18:53 October 12, 2009 by ronyasif
@Mahfuzur, do u still believe that Portugal will lost their match against poor Malta???I agree with Mike and Bira that Swedish football is boring to watch...they play very slowly...with long passes...but see what Denmark did last match....They played total football...where each and everybody contributed evenly...but Sweden tried to focus on Zlatan......that's poor strategy..I would suggest Swedish football association to hire a foreign coach,probably from Germany, Italy or Netherlands....who has good knowledge on modern football....and who could make the team faster...stronger, and please give a rest to those poor old buddies...bring some new blood in the team...
10:58 October 13, 2009 by Abu Sayeed
I am not fully agreed with ronyasif. Yes we know that there is a less chance to win for Malta against Portugal but there may have a chance to win. It could be 5 percent, you can't avoid this. Who knows what will happen. But as a fan, I will say that Swedish football management can focus on their playing strategy and modernize football for success.
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