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FOOTBALL

Zlatan winner saves Sweden’s blushes

A winner from Paris Saint Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic enabled Sweden to overcome the World Cup minnows of the Faroe Islands in Torshavn on Friday.

Zlatan winner saves Sweden's blushes

The Swedes had to dig deep to prevent a major upset in Torshavn against a team ranked a massive 131 rungs below them in FIFA’s world rankings.

Rogvi Baldvinsson, who had a fleeting two-week spell with Bristol Rovers this year, set Swedish nerves on edge with an opener for the home side in the 57th minute.

But Fulham winger Alex Kacaniklic levelled eight minutes later and Paris Saint Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic stepped up to bag victory with quarter of an hour to go.

But despite making hard work of the north Atlantic islanders, Ibrahimovic expressed satisfaction after having secured the points.

“We won the match 2-1, it can’t get better than that, if you consider the result,” he told reporters.

Ibrahimovic called for improvements in Sweden’s upcoming game against Germany and cited the artificial surface at the Torshavn stadium as a reason for Sweden’s difficulties.

“Maybe the astro-turf caused us problems… But we shouldn’t blame that now, we are professionals, we are playing the Faroe Islands away – these matches aren’t easy any more.”

Germany’s crushing 6-1 win against Ireland in Dublin meanwhile kept them in command of Group C with a perfect nine points from three games.

Elsewhere in the group Austria and Kazakhstan battled out a 0-0 draw at the Astana Arena.

Sweden heads to Berlin on Tuesday in a match which may go a long way to deciding which country secures the automatic qualifying spot from the group.

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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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