Kaca Keeps Sweden Close

Tuesday 11 June 2013 20:00

Alexander Kačaniklić continued to press his claims for First Team inclusion next season as he helped Sweden to a 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands in FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday night.

Sweden, who were beaten 2-1 by Austria last Friday, moved back into Play-Off contention in Europe’s Group C (below) as they made it a three-way tie for second place on 11 points with the Austrians and the Republic of Ireland after six games.

The men in yellow began the strongest and Kačaniklić caused issues down the flank, but it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who started and ended the move that brought the first goal when he combined with Mikael Lustig in the 35th minute. Sweden continued to dominate, but goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen stood firm until, only two minutes after Andreas Granqvist was sent off (80), Ibrahimovic got his second after he won and scored a penalty.

Germany are still five points ahead at the top of the group, but the win for Sweden means it is anyone’s guess who will finish second.

Brede Hangeland was rested for Norway in their friendly win against Macedonia. Per Ciljan Skjelbred opened the scoring in the opening 10 minutes when he headed home from close range and Daniel Braaten netted the second in the 79th minute.

In the UEFA Under 19 European Championships Elite Round, Noe Baba was suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the first two games, but Sean Kavanagh played 58 minutes as the Republic of Ireland failed to qualify as they were held 0-0 by Serbia.

With Slovakia beating Switzerland 2-0, all the Irish needed to reach the Final Round in Lithuania next month was a win, but could only muster two shots on target.

The results mean that Serbia qualified top of the group, as their Goal Difference was four better than Switzerland’s, with the Irish undeservedly ending the campaign bottom of the table.

In his final game at the UEFA Under 21 European Championships in his homeland, Omri Altman came on in the 55th minute as Israel beat England 1-0.

Both teams were effectively already out of the competition as Israel needed a six-goal swing to progress, but after Altman had entered the fray for Moanes Dabour, the home nation went out on a high as Ofir Krieff curled a lovely left-footed strike into the bottom corner in the 80th minute to seal a famous win.

The result sees Israel finish third in Group A, with the England Under 21s (whose Assistant Coach is our own Steve Wigley) finishing bottom.

Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Germany 6 5 1 0 22 7 16
Austria 6 3 2 1 15 5 11
Sweden 6 3 2 1 11 7 11
Republic of Ireland 6 3 2 1 12 10 11
Kazakhstan 6 0 1 5 2 15 1
Faroe Islands 6 0 0 6 2 20 0