'Ireland are up there now' - Sweden defender Mikael Lustig

The Celtic defender believes that it will be tight in Group C as Ireland, Sweden and Austria each vie for the coveted play-off position
Sweden full-back Mikael Lustig admits that Ireland are back in the race for the play-off spot in Group C but maintains the advantage is still with his side.

The Celtic defender won his 33rd cap for his country last night in the 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland in Stockholm. Giovanni Trapattoni's men earned a point on the back of a disciplined defensive showing but couldn't make a breakthrough in attack.

Asked if the away point hands the initiative to Ireland, who host the Swedes in Dublin in September, Lustig said: "Hopefully not. We played against Germany away and got a point but, absolutely, Ireland are up there now. It’s going to be real tight I think.

"We are disappointed and we are not happy with our performance. I think Ireland did real well. We didn’t create that many chances so we are kind of disappointed," added the 26-year-old.

Meanwhile, Mikael Antonsson also admitted his concern about the missed opportunity to put real daylight between the sides in the race to the World Cup in Brazil. The Swedes still lie in second place in the table on eight points with both Ireland and Austria just one behind.

Antonsson, who replaced Lustig at half-time, told reporters that his side was 'disappointed' with the result.

"We came for three points so we are disappointed we didn’t get them. They had a lot of pressure in the first quarter. We came back and created a good chance," he told reporters.

"Their goalkeeper made a very good save from Kim (Kallstom’s) free kick,” added the Bologna player.