Sweden impress in Hungary win

Sweden impress in Hungary win
A brace of goals from Pontus Wernbloom were enough to secure Sweden a comfortable 2-0 win against Hungary in Stockholm on Friday in their Euro 2012 opening qualifier.

“Wonderful, fantastic feeling to win the first match and win convincingly before this fantastic crowd,” said Swedish coach Erik Hamrén to broadcaster TV6.

Hamrén, who assumed the role as national team coach after Sweden’s failure to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa, elected to deploy the same starting eleven that beat Scotland 3-0 in a recent friendly.

New AC Milan signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic wore the captain’s armband and lead from the front, with the roaming striker at the centre of much of Sweden’s best football in the opening period.

Ibrahimovic created good chances for Bolton forward Johan Elmander, Ola Toivonen and Emir Bajrami who were unable to convert their opportunities and give Sweden a deserved lead in the first half.

The ex-Barcelona man missed a good chance of his own before the teams went in for the break with Sweden left to ponder their profligacy.

But six minutes into the second half the impressive Mikael Lustig turned provider, setting Sebastian Larsson free down right flank. The Birmingham winger whipped in a sublime cross for the onrushing Wernbloom to meet with his head and open the scoring for a rampant yellow and blues.

Wernbloom, a relative newcomer to the national team and favoured over Lyon midfielder Kim Källström as Hamrén seeks to continue process of renewal, doubled Sweden’s lead in the 73rd minute after converting a corner from Larsson at the second attempt.

Källström played 60 minutes of the game alongside Wernbloom in the centre of midfield as ex-Southampton veteran Anders Svensson succumbed to injury.

Johan Elmander also fell victim to a tough aerial challenge, and with the goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson pulling a groin muscle, Sweden were forced to deploy all their substitutes early on.

But with a comfortable 2-0 lead secured, the new regime under Erik Hamrén were able to show composure to see the game out for a worthy three points, leaving them second in group E after Holland’s 0-5 demolition of San Marino.

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