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Sweden in goalless draw against Ireland

Sweden's prospects of making it to Brazil in 2014 are looking bleak after Friday's goalless World Cup qualifier against Ireland at Stockholm's Friends Arena.

Sweden in goalless draw against Ireland

Hopes were high in Sweden after the “miracle in Berlin”, when the national team achieved an impressive four-goal comeback to salvage a 4-4 draw against Germany, including a stunning goal off a header by captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 62nd minute.

But Friday’s match was unspectacular, with few goal chances for Sweden, a poor passing game and a tame offense.

The top moment of the first half came when Alexander Kacaniklic picked up speed and found Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who nodded the ball over to a quick-thinking Tobias Hysén. But Ireland’s goalie David Forde successfully blocked it.

The Swedish team got close to scoring three points when, with just seconds left in overtime, striker Rasmus Elm nearly snatched a victory with a confident shot at the goal.

Coach Erik Hamrén was disappointed, telling Sweden’s Channel 5 that “overall, we fought well, but we did not reach the level we had hoped for”.

“We have an opponent that is very skilful at killing our intentions,” Hamrén said of the Irish team.

After winning 3-0 against Kazakhstan, Germany is now five points ahead of Sweden in Group C, leaving Sweden in second place.

For the Republic of Ireland, their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil received a much-needed boost in Stockholm. The team claimed a valuable point in Friday’s match.

Ireland are now in third place in Group C, one point behind Sweden. Next week, they face Austria in a home game, while Sweden will take on Austria on June 7th.

Sweden will also face Slovakia in a friendly on Tuesday.

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IBRAHIMOVIC

Zlatan has been ‘cured’ of coronavirus: AC Milan

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been given the all-clear to end his quarantine period and return to action after testing negative for coronavirus, the Serie A club announced on Friday.

Zlatan has been 'cured' of coronavirus: AC Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring a goal in September. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Milan confirmed in a statement that the Swedish striker had “tested negative” twice in a row, as stipulated in the protocol to be able to lift the quarantine procedure.
   
Ibrahimovic, 39, sounded a more triumphal note on his social media: “You are cured! The health authority says the quarantine is over, you can go out!”, he wrote on Twitter.

The announcement comes a day after Milan said Ibrahimovic had tested positive a second time for Covid-19, putting in doubt his participation in the Milan derby on October 17.
 
   
Ibrahimovic first tested positive on September 24.
   
The derby remains in doubt with two other Milan players and five from Inter currently in self-quarantine.
   
In spite of his absence, Milan have made a decent start to the season, having climbed to second in Serie A after winning all three of their games and reaching the group stages of the Europa League.
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