Sweden beat Kazakhstan in record-breaking win

Sweden beat Kazakhstan in record-breaking win
An early goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic was enough to help Sweden slip past hosts Kazakhstan on Tuesday night in a World Cup qualifier that saw two records broken.

First it was midfielder Anders Svensson who set a new Swedish cap record when he was picked to play against Kazakhstan.

The 37-year-old earned his 144th cap, thus surpassing the previous record he shared with former goalkeeper Thomas Ravelli, who helped lead Sweden to World Cup bronze in the United States in 1994.

Svensson, who has played most of his career with Elfsborg but also represented Southampton in England from 2001 to 2005, made his international debut in 1999.

And when Ibrahimovic found the net just 27 seconds after the opening whistle, the Paris Saint Germain striker set another Swedish record for the fastest goal scored in a competitive national team match.

The goal came on a quick counterattack after Kazakhstan failed to convert. Midfielder Albin Ekdal collected the ball and passed to forward Johan Elmander, who struck a long pass up to Ibrahimovic, who had no trouble finding the back of the net.

“It’s fun to have broken that record too, but the most important thing is that we won,” he told the TT news agency after the game.

The previous fastest goal record of 35 seconds had been shared by Marcus Allbäck for a goal against Lithuania in 2007, and Arne Nybert for a goal scored against Hungary in 1938.

The win keeps Sweden’s World Cup qualifying hopes alive, leaving them in second place in Group C with 17 points behind group leaders Germany, who have 22 points.

But close behind is third-place Austria with 14 points after a late goal by David Alaba gave them a 1-0 victory over Ireland.

The tight World Cup qualifying races sets up a must-win match for both teams when they meet on October 11th at Friends Arena near Stockholm.

TT/The Local/dl

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