Saturday, May 28 2022

Viktor Claesson secured Sweden a 2-1 victory over Spain in World Cup qualifying on Thursday for a third win in three games and top spot in Group B.

Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler scored five minutes into his Spain debut, but Alexander Isak replied almost instantly for the hosts in Stockholm.

Claesson grabbed the winner just before the hour as Sweden kept their 100 percent record intact to move two points clear of Spain with a game in hand.

“I think we’re better than what we ourselves believe, honestly. We could have won the match by a lot more. I’m proud. We’re a really good team,” said Sweden winger Dejan Kulusevski.

Defeat for Spain leaves Luis Enrique’s side at increasing risk of entering the play-offs with only the group winners guaranteed a place at the 2022 finals in Qatar.

“We didn’t deserve to lose,” said Spain defender Jordi Alba. “The first half was excellent and it was a shame that they equalised immediately.”

“We have no margin for error now,” he added. “We need to improve things. There’s still a lot to play for, difficult matches — and we need to win them.”

Spain return home to face Georgia on Sunday having made an unconvincing start to the group. The 10 group runners-up will head into the play-offs along with two teams from the Nations League.

The game started promisingly for Spain in front of some 16,000 fans in Sweden as Soler steered in Alba’s cross on the half-volley.

But Soler was partly at fault for Sweden’s equaliser, his pass getting away from Sergio Busquets and allowing Isak to steer in superbly from the edge of the area.

The two nations drew 0-0 in the group stage of Euro 2020, but this was a far more open affair as the pace of Isak, Kulusevski and Emil Forsberg kept the Spain defence on alert.

Juventus attacker Kulusevski, who missed the game against Spain at the Euro after testing positive for Covid-19, had a drive turned away by the foot of Unai Simon.

Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen kept the scores level just after half-time when he bravely palmed away as Ferran Torres and Alvaro Morata both sought to apply a finishing touch from close range.

Spain’s inability to clear a corner proved their undoing on 57 minutes.

After a deep cross, the ball was worked back to Claesson who sneaked a low shot between Simon and the near post, notching the decisive goal for the second time in three qualifiers.

Now in pole position in the group, Sweden play Uzbekistan in a friendly this weekend before resuming their qualifying campaign away to Greece on September 8.

mw/jc

Source: Yahoo Sports

Previous

Lucas Meek on Washington's supporting cast shining in win versus CSUF: 'This was awesome'

Next

BetMGM announces partnership with Casino del Mar at La Concha Resort

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

Jimmy Butler fined $15K by NBA for ‘obscene gesture’ on bench; Heat fined for posting it on social media

Getty Images Jimmy Butler missed Game 5 of the Miami Heat’s first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks with knee inflammation, but, from his spot on the bench, he still managed to make his presence felt. With less than two minutes to go in the first half, Butler celebrated a Max Strus 3 by, uh, thrusting […]

Read More

Lyon to play behind closed doors as Payet lodges official complaint

Lyon were on Monday ordered to play home games until at least December 8 behind closed doors after their Ligue 1 fixture against Marseille on the weekend was abandoned after Dimitri Payet was hit in the head by a bottle. The Marseille captain required treatment after being struck on the side of the head as […]

Read More

What are the longest winning and losing streaks in MLB history?

What are the longest winning and losing streaks in MLB history? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington Professional baseball dates back to 1876, when the National League was founded. The American League was officially founded in 1901, and the two leagues began playing together as Major League Baseball in 1903. Since 1903, there’s obviously been […]

Read More