Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Sweden

The Republic of Ireland have lost their World Cup qualifying Group C match to Sweden 2-1 in Dublin.

Anders Svensson fired Sweden firmly into the race for World Cup qualification as the Republic of Ireland's hopes were dealt a potentially fatal blow.

The 37-year-old, making a record-equalling 143rd appearance for the Swedes, struck 12 minutes into the second half to win a crucial Group C encounter.

Ireland skipper Robbie Keane had got his side off to the perfect start when he claimed the 60th goal of his senior international career with 22 minutes gone, but Johan Elmander's equaliser 11 minutes later set the stage for Svensson's second-half heroics.

Long had a glorious opportunity to pick out a green shirt inside the Swedish penalty area with after running into space down the right with 16 minutes remaining, but his cross was easily picked off.

Trapattoni immediately sent on Norwich midfielder Anthony Pilkington in place of McClean in a desperate quest for inspiration.

But Ireland's desperation left them repeatedly exposed and it was Sweden who caused the greater problems as the clock ticked down.

Keane only just failed to reach Long's 88th-minute header down ahead of Isaksson, but there was to be no reprieve for the Republic.

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