Two sparks gave Sweden victory over Greece, far superior in the first half, and the top of Group B of the qualification for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, in which, with 15 points, they now lead Spain of two in the absence of so many other days to play and visit La Cartuja. On the penultimate day, the Spanish team travels to Greece (third in the group) and the Swedes face the weak Georgia. Therefore, the match on Sunday November 14 in Seville seems decisive for the men of Luis Enrique to play a direct duel with the Swedes for the classification.
Robin Olsen, Nilsson-Lindelöf, Danielsson, Augustinsson, Krafth, Forsberg (Olsson, min. 86), Claesson (Mathas Svanberg, min. 81), Olsson, Ekdal (Jens Cdonde, min. 81), Quaison (Viktor Gyokeres, min. . . .86) and Isaac
Vlachodimos, Pantelis Hatzidiakos, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Bakasetas, Dimitrios Giannoulis (Dimitris Limnios, min. 83), Manolis Siopis (Pelkas, min. 70), Thanasis Androutsos, Bouchalakis, Giorgos Masouras (Christos Tzolis, min. 70) and Vangelis Pavlidis
Goals 1-0 mins. 58: Forsberg. 2-0 mins. 68: Isaac.
Yellow cards Konstantinos Mavropanos (min. 57), Ekdal (min. 60), Bakasetas (min. 60), Pantelis Hatzidiakos (min. 75) and Mathas Svanberg (min. 89)
red cards Pantelis Hatzidiakos (min. 85)
Sweden, who miraculously held the goalless draw before the break, were lethal in the second half, with two goals in ten minutes: a penalty from Forsberg and a fine action from Isak. Before, Greece had planted two balls in the posts, like the Nordics a month ago in Athens, where they fell 2-1. Sweden had won eight consecutive home victories in World Cup qualifying matches, while Greece had lost just one of the last twelve on the road.
Despite playing at the Friends Arena, Sweden choked on Greece from the start: a tidy and seasoned side, well coached by John Van’t Schip, who conceded no chances in the first half-time and had to go into the break to get ahead. on the dashboard. The Dutch coach kept the defense at five despite losing Tzavellas, placing Tsimikas as third centre-back and Giannoulis as corridor. A priori, he gave up one of his best weapons in attack and that had created many problems for Sweden in Athens. But it went well. Almost all of the Greek danger passed through this band in the first half, with the falls of Masouras, a headache for the Swedish defense, especially for Krafth. Masouras gave the warning after two minutes, scored offside shortly after and smashed one-on-one against Olsen against the post in the 21st. Before the break he had time to take another shot and d hooking a cross that Pavlidis headed towards the crossbar.
Greece gave up the ball most of the time, rushing every time they got it back, but they also knew how to push high sometimes and revealed Sweden’s struggles to create play when they didn’t have space . Only a detail from Forsberg encouraged the home crowd, worried about the lack of spark of his team, clearly outclassed.
Sweden didn’t improve much with the break, although at least they cut off the escape of Greek counterattacks. Quaison, who replaced the suspended Kulusevski, took a whiplash that Vlachodimos cleared. It was the first local chance, in the 56th minute, but Mavropanos, unimpeachable until then, committed a hard penalty by eliminating Isak, who had won the race on a long ball from Lindelöf. Forsberg did not spare. Greece continues to attack a Sweden stuck behind, although without danger. Andersson’s team scored again in a game as simple as it was effective: a long touch from Olsen which ate the Greek defense and in which Isak again shone, who had just scored a superb goal against Kosovo . The Real Sociedad striker played softly to avoid Vlachodimos then shot coolly to wait for Mavropanos to win and finish with his left foot. This is where the game and Greece’s options to be first in the group died, a position that everything indicates Sweden and Spain will play in a month in Seville.
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