Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates with teammates Jimmy Durmaz and Albin Ekdal after scoring his team's second goal during the Euro 2016 Group G qualifying soccer match between Liechtenstein and Sweden at the Rheinpark stadium.
MICHELE LIMINA/AFP/Getty Images
Sweden maintain hopes of an automatic Euro 2016 qualification spot after goals from Marcus Berg and Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave them a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein.
With results elsewhere having the potential to determine Sweden’s fate, they may well have been sweating further as Ibrahimovic missed a first-half penalty when just 1-0 up. First goalscorer Berg had himself missed a golden chance to double up but Ibrahimovic made certain of the win in the second half, meaning the race for automatic berths in Group G will go into the final round of fixtures.
Lichtenstein could have had a big say in derailing Sweden’s qualification efforts. Franz Burgmeier forced the early save from Andreas Isaksson to rattle the Scandinavians. But the visitors took the lead on 18 minutes with Jimmy Durmaz the architect as he expertly found Berg, who then did well to stay on his feet following a challenge and slotted the ball home.
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The same combination nearly made it 2-0 just four minutes later but Berg, facing an open goal from under two yards out, somehow fired over. Sweden had to settle for a 1-0 lead at the end of the first half as Ibrahimovic won a penalty after being fouled by Sandro Wieser, but the Paris St Germain man was denied from the spot when his weak kick was easily saved by Peter Jehle.
However, it was only be a matter of time before Ibrahimovic got on the scoresheet and it was from open play as well just before the hour mark. Kim Kallstrom’s long ball found the frontman who, in turn, found the net from 10 yards with his right foot. Simon Kuhne continued to fight the fight for Liechtenstein as Isaksson was again called into action, with Wieser also missing the target at one stage, but the Swedes hung on.