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Sweden 3-2 Iceland: Ibrahimovic on target as hosts continue Euro 2012 plans with victory
The striker put his side ahead early on, setting the tone for what was ultimately a comfortable victory for the hosts
By Renger Dotinga
Sweden recorded a comfortable 3-2 victory over Iceland on Wednesday, with early goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ola Toivonen putting the hosts in the driving seat.
Kolbein Sigthorsson pulled one back before half time, but Christian Wilhelmsson put the match to bed shortly before the final whistle. Hallgrimur Jonasson grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors in added time.
The hosts got off to a flying start, with skipper Ibrahimovic opening the scoring just two minutes in. Sebastian Larsson picked out the forward in the area, and the AC Milan man put his side ahead with a clinical finish.
Iceland, having succumbed to two late goals against France earlier in the week, looked to respond immediately through Sigthorsson. Ari Freyr Skulason appeared to put the striker through on goal, only to see the Ajax man ruled offside.
Sweden made it two shortly after, Toivonen converting to double his side’s lead. Behrang Safari found the midfielder in front of goal with a sliced cross, presenting the PSV man with the most convertible of chances.
The open nature of the game saw Sigthorsson put his side back in it just before the half hour mark. The striker showed his poacher’s instinct by latching on to a Skulason delivery into the area, heading home from seven yards out.
The hosts enjoyed the majority of chances up to half time, with both Ibrahimovic and Kim Kallstrom squandering chances to restore their side’s two-goal advantage. The towering forward failed to direct his header on target from yards out, before the latter blasted a free kick from a decent position well wide.
A trio of substitutions at the interval from both sides failed to inject genuine energy in the game, with neither side getting a sight of goal until the 58th minute. Aron Gunnarsson attempted to draw the visitors level from long range, but the Cardiff City midfielder failed to hit the target.
Toivonen appeared to pose the biggest threat to the Iceland goal following Ibrahimovic’s substitution; the midfielder appeared to lack the composed nature of his compatriot however, failing to hit the target with two close range headers.
Wilhelmsson however put the match to bed in the 77th minute, converting a close range effort after Samuel Holmen had done well to put the Istanbul midfielder through on goal.
A late corner allowed Jonasson to grab a consolation goal, the defender rising above the crowd to head home Sigurdsson's delivery.
Sweden will look to build on this victory when they take on Serbia next week in what will be their last match in their preparations for Euro 2012. The Blagult will play their opening fixture of the tournament against co-hosts Ukraine on June 11.
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