Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the double to seal Euro 2016 spot for Sweden

Published 18/11/2015

Swede dreams: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, left, and Kim Kallstrom of Sweden celebrate their play-off win over Denmark
Swede dreams: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, left, and Kim Kallstrom of Sweden celebrate their play-off win over Denmark

Zlatan Ibrahimovic likes to have his say. "One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch," he opined after Sweden lost a play-off to Portugal in 2013.

Now he has ensured his country will be at Euro 2016 after his goals helped them to a 2-2 draw with neighbours Denmark in the second leg of their play-off in Copenhagen, ensuring they go through 4-3 on aggregate.

The Swedes had a 2-1 lead from the first leg on Saturday and the Paris Saint-Germain striker put them further in front in the 19th minute when he met Kim Kallstrom's corner and twisted to sweep the ball past Kasper Schmeichel.

It was his 10th goal in as many qualifiers, and in the 76th minute he curled in a free-kick to make it 2-0. Late goals by Yussuf Poulsen and Jannik Vestergaard provided little consolation for the hosts.

Slovenia had to claw back a 2-0 deficit against Ukraine in Maribor. The home side's captain, Bostjan Cesar, who might have been lucky to stay on the pitch after he appeared to elbow an opponent in the first five minutes, headed in from close range after 11 minutes to reduce the arrears.

The hosts did have right-back Miso Brecko sent off for a reckless challenge on Yevhen Konoplaynka in time added on as nerves became frayed, but Andriy Yarmolenko scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time to ensure Ukraine's passage to France next summer.

Meanwhile, Turkish fans booed and chanted during the minute's silence held for the victims of the Paris attacks before the national side drew 0-0 with Greece in a friendly in Istanbul.

The Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras watched the game together as a gesture of reconciliation between the hostile neighbours. It was the first time that the teams had met for eight years.

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More