Sweden needed to score a lot of goals in the home game against the Faroe Islands to improve the goal difference in the battle for second place. There were however only two goals scored in the whole game.
In the 35th minute Zlatan Ibrahimovic played the ball to Mikael Lustig, got it back and scored 1-0.
Sweden had several chances to score more goals in the second half. Ola Toivonen had the best chance when he was totally free in the 75th minute, but the keeper made the save.
Shortly later Andreas Granqvist was sent off after a bout and is therefore off against Ireland. Zlatan ended up at the same time in squabbling with Gunnar Nielsen and pushed into the goalie.
Sweden got a penalty in the 81st minute after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had been pulled down. Ibrahimovic ended up once again in trouble with Nielsen after having tossed the ball into the face of the goalie.
– I do not see him. It’s a no look pass, so that’s good. I meet him, says Zlatan.
– If I fall, Zlatan had gotten a red card. I do not think he shows me respect, but I guess he is like that, says Nielsen.
Zlatan did not agree with him.
– He should have saved the penalty instead.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the penalty shot safely into the goal and celebrated before Nielsen. After the match, he explained why.
– He talks too much. He should be quiet. It felt like they whined the whole match. I’ve never met a team that is whining so much. Focus on running and playing and maybe you get one point, says Zlatan and continues:
– It was on all the time, I do not understand it. But they provoke in all the wrong ways. I laugh at it. It makes me more psyched.
Sweden is now on 11 points, just like Ireland and Austria. But Austria has six goals better goal difference than Sweden. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was however still happy after the game.
For Austria, it was only victory that mattered. In case of loss or draw against Sweden the chance to fight for second place would have been very small.
The Austrian players believe that 2-1 victory was largely a tactical triumph.
– We were bad in the beginning, but after 90 minutes it was well deserved it was us who won, say 2-0, striker Marc Janko.
– Sweden was not as good as against Germany at the end and we were not really threatened.
How was your tactic?
– We had talked about Sweden’s weaknesses. We knew that Sweden leaves large areas on the edges and then we wanted to get a lot of one-on-one situations out there and then get the ball. We saw good at my goal, says Janko.
Austria also managed well to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic outside the game.
– It is not good to be so dependent on one player. When we managed to take him out of the game so it was much easier, says Janko.
– Zlatan Ibrahimovic can not play alone, for himself. We played well around him and we had a good game.
Defender and captain Christian Fuchs about the Zlatan Ibrahimovic tactic:
– We did exactly what we agreed to in regards to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. When he got the ball we had two or three players around him. We did a very good job because he was moving over large areas.
None of the Austrian players, however, wanted to take out second place in advance.
– It’s still tough, but it was an important and significant step in the right direction for us. Now we have two good games with us, against Ireland and now against Sweden, says Fuchs.
– It gives us confidence for our next game, away against Germany. I think we have a good chance to surprise there.
The loss against Austria means that Sweden can basically forget the first place and a direct advancement to the World Cup. The first place spot is now almost dedicated for Germany. But it will be a thriller between three teams of that other place – Sweden, Ireland and Austria. Swedish victory on Tuesday against the Faroe Islands and all of the trio have eleven points. Then, goal difference becomes crucial.
And against the weak Faroe Islands it is important for Sweden to score many goals.
– It is especially important to do a lot of goals there, says Jonas Olsson.
– It we win big, like really big, says Andreas Granqvist.
– We get to play with five forwards says Johan Elmander with a laugh.
But in the squad are now only two forwards left for the game against the Faroe Islands because Elmander is off.
Will you bring in a new forward, Erik Hamrén?
– I have not thought about that right now. I have a few hours on me for the next game. You’ll have to wait and see.
Granqvist comments about that Elmander is banned from the next game:
– Does not really matter, we’ll win big anyway.
Andreas Isaksson is also banned for the next game.
You get a new goalkeeper, Andreas?
– He will not have as much to do against the Faroe Islands, said Granqvist.
Kristoffer Nordfeldt will replace Isaksson between the goal posts.
– It feels good. I’ve had a good season behind me and I’m ready for this, says the Holland pro.
Sweden began strongly at Ernst Happel Stadium and were the better team the first 20 minutes. Then it happened what should not happen out of the blue and yellow perspective. Jonas Olsson hesitated against Marc Janko who became free with Andreas Isaksson, the referee called a penalty which David Alaba fired in goal for 1-0. Oscar Wendt dropped Marko Arnautovic on the right, whose posts reached Marc Janko who headed the 2-0 in front of Andreas Granqvist.
Coach Erik Hamrén was fierce at the press conference:
– We do not act as I want us to act. We talk a lot about us to determine the line and we did not do well enough in the first half. We did better in the second, when it became a completely different game. The second goal was too passive and that they could hit the ball, and it was too bad press but also work there. There are a number of matches where it has become too easy targets. It hurts just when one sees how the objectives will, ‘said Hamrén.
Jonas Olsson made no attempt to try to throw the blame in the mixed zone:
– He (Janko) came a bit from the left, behind me at full speed. It was a wrong decision, I saw him late, thought I should make it. So it’s a bad decision, says Jonas Olsson and adds:
– The defence game has felt good in recent games, now there were two mistakes that you can not do at this level. Above all, my mistake, it is hard to say anything other than it personally.
It was not until well into the second half before Sweden came to life.
– We turned ourself down in the last quarter in the first half and allowed the goals to affect us, says Sebastian Larsson.
Team captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic:
– There were two mistakes and they are the ones we pay for. That is why we are losing by 2-1, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
When Austria held a press conference at noon on Tuesday at the match venue Ernst Happelstadion in Vienna the main topic of conversation was given: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.The Basel center-defender Aleksander Dragovic, probably forming central defense along with Werder Bremen’s Sebastian Prödl, is an admirer of the Swedish striker.
– I like Zlatan. He is a cool guy and the world’s best striker, says Dragovic.
Why is he better than Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?
– Look at what he has meant to all the teams he played for. All the teams he made to champions. – I have great respect for Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a player, I know it will be tough to stop him – but I’m not afraid. It should be fun and a great challenge to meet him, says Aleksander Dragovic.
zlatan career information
Scorer in the Austrian league, Philipp Hosiner, who scored 32 goals in the league believe that if they manage to stop Zlatan a very big part of the game is won:
– Ibrahimovic accounts for 80 percent of the Swedish national team. If we can control him Sweden is a lesser team. There are several other good players in Sweden, but none that are near his caliber, says Austria Vienna striker and elaborates:
– We need to play smart against him. You can not stop him for a full 90 minutes, instead it comes to doing it at the right times, in the right place on the field. Playing tough against him, but do not incur unnecessary free kicks close to the goal. For then Zlatan can score goals with his free kicks, says Hosiner.
More harsh in his comments about the super Swede was Austria’s coach Marcel Koller.
– Zlatan is an outstanding player, but of course, Sweden is not only Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Do you think Ibrahimovic is in good shape? asked an Austrian reporter.
– Yes, I assume. I do not think he completely lost it in two weeks, said Koller.
Sweden is now far away from a a World Cup summer in Brazil. Serious mistakes cracked Sweden in Vienna. Austria won 2-1 (2-0). It had issued storm warning in the first fifteen minutes at Ernst Happel Stadium. There was talk about an Austria which would give everything they had, go full speed ahead and go knock on by nearly 50,000 flag-waving and yelling fans in the back.
Instead Johan Elmander burned a chance he risks having nightmares after only two minutes, he fired over from close range, and Jonas Olsson was about to kneel in a header pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And then a few half-chances and next to it. The national team had lines, game, control, and when Martin Harnik after one quarter sent a shot 20 feet across and 30 feet from the goal the crowd was not happy.
Sweden had the game, Sweden had Marcel Koller feared and upward red and white thread in a firm grip. Then came the mistakes, one by one.Those stronger contours of a wider road to Brazil that could be discerned was transformed in a matter of minutes to a brushy trail.
At 1-0 (26) Olsson took a wrong decision as the last man, Harnik won the header duel, came up alone and threw herself elegantly and skillfully over Andreas Isaksson hands. The Italian Gianluca Rocchi called a penalty directly. David Alabas successful season (won the treble with Bayern Munich) continued when he with no fuss sent home the shot.
Isaksson’s yellow card means he misses Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands at Friends Arena. Only after 60 minutes Hamrén enough of yet another pale of international Rasmus Elm. In his 140th international Anders Svensson came in with the mission to try to contribute to something that could emulate the feat at the Olympic Stadium in October.
Elmander got a foot Ibrahimovic joint after 82 minutes and reduced, but more than that, it was not.
Austria’s past Sweden in the table, as well as Ireland beat the Faroe Islands. Both have eleven points. Sweden reaches as many wins against the Faroe Islands. Nothing is settled, but a cold wind suddenly pulled straight into the Swedish National Team.