Tuesday 26 September 2017

Sweden end Ireland's World Cup dreams

A dejected Robbie Keane after the game tonight
A dejected Robbie Keane after the game tonight
6 September 2013; Robbie Keane, Republic of Ireland, in action against Mikael Lustig, Sweden. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; Sweden's Anders Svensson shoots to score his side's second goal. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; Sweden's Anders Svensson celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; Anders Svensson, Sweden, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; Sweden's Anders Svensson celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; James McClean, Republic of Ireland, in action against Mikael Lustig, Sweden. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; Anders Svensson, Sweden, scores his side's second goal. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; Marc Wilson, Republic of Ireland, in action against Johan Elmander, Sweden. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; Johan Elmander, Sweden, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal as the Republic of Ireland's Marc Wilson, left, and Richard Dunne look on. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
6 September 2013; Jonathan Walters, Republic of Ireland, in action against Martin Olsson, Sweden. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Republic of Ireland v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

The Republic of Ireland's hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup Finals were dealt a devastating blow in the Aviva Stadium as they suffered defeat to Sweden despite going ahead with a Robbie Keane goal.

Erik Hamren's side reacted well to going behind scoring two goals to deny Ireland any much needed points from the crucial game.

Ireland got off to a bright start and within one minute launched the first attack of the night when Seamus Coleman swung the ball into the box from a free. It was knocked on and fell to Shane Long but went out for a corner which was easily dealt with by Sweden.

After fifteen minutes Zlatan Ibrahimovic nearly gave the Swedish fans something to sing about but he could only find the side of the net after a corner from Sebastian Larsson blazed across the face of the Irish goal.

But it was Ireland who were first to celebrate when Robbie Keane made the most of Sweden's lack lustre defending by finding the net with his second attempt. A long ball from David Forde found Shane Long, the ball shot forward to Keane who connected and sent it towards the target. It hit the post but Keane reacted terrifically well and buried it into the back of the net for his 60th goal for Ireland.

Sweden started to come into the game after Ireland's goal and came close to equalising when Ibrahimovic picked out Sebastian Larsson on the right with a cross but it was headed wide.

There was further trouble on Sweden's right flank with ten minutes left on the clock when Johan Elmander's diving header sailed past Forde into the back of the net, his 20th goal for Sweden.

Ireland's advantage lasted only eleven minutes and momentum immediately swung with Sweden who enjoyed the better of the chances for the next few minutes. Ibrahimovic became more influential  as the game progressed keeping Richard Dunne busy.

Ireland started the second half well with James McClean getting on the ball but their dominance was short lived. After just ten minutes Ibrahimovic showed some magic when he picked out 37 year old Anders Svensson who slotted the ball into the Ireland net.

On the 73rd minute Anthony Pilkington was introduced as a replacement for McClean but his presence had no effect on the outcome.

By Marie Crowe

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