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06.09.2013 at 19:45 Aviva Stadium Attendance:
Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Sweden
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia). World Cup Qualifier / Prog-match

Robbie Keane (21)
Johan Elmander 33 mins;
Anders Svensson 57 mins;
Opening squads
David Forde
Seamus Coleman
Marc Wilson
John O'Shea
Richard Dunne
James Mc Carthy
Glen Whelan
Jon Walters
James Mc Clean
Shane Long
Robbie Keane
Andreas Isaksson;
Mikael Lustig,
Per Nilsson,
Mikael Antonsson,
Martin Olsson;
Sebastian Larsson,
Albin Ekdal,
Anders Svensson,
Alexander Kacaniklic;
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (capt);
Johan Elmander.
Keiren Westwood
Darren O'Dea
Ciaran Clarke
Paul Green
Paul Mc Shane
Wesley Hoolahan
Robert Brady
Anthony Pilkington
Simon Cox
Conor Sammon
Jonas Olsen;
Kim Kallstrom;
Kristoffer Nordfeldt;
Tobias Hysen;
Pontus Jansson;
Pontus Wernbloom;
Pierre Bengtsson;
Adam Johansson;
Ola Toivonen;
Jimmy Durmaz;
Erkan Zengin;
Johan Wiland.
Simon Cox -> Jon Walters (68)
Anthony Pilkington -> James Mc Clean (74)
Adam Johansson for Lustig 65 mins;
Pontus Wernbloom for Svensson 68 mins;
Jonas Olsson for Elmander 90+2 mins.
Yellow cards
Richard Dunne (38)
Glen Whelan (81)
Albin Ekdal 56 mins,
Red cards
None. None
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report

Pictures from the match
Statto : Debut for Anthony Pilkington; 60th goal for Robbie Keane

THE Republic of Irelands World Cup hopes were dealt a massive blow this evening at the Aviva Stadium when Giovanni Trapattonis side lost to Sweden.

With three games left Ireland now trail Group C leaders Germany by eight points and second place Sweden by three points and are behind third place Austria on goal difference.

While it is still possible for the side to achieve qualification, there is no doubt that their chances have greatly diminished as result of this game.

The Irish could only hold the 22nd minute lead which captain Robbie Keane had given them for just 11 minutes before Johan Elmander equalised. When Anders Svensson gave Sweden the lead after 57 minutes the Irish struggled to find a way through a resolute visiting defence and the Swedes held on for a vital victory.

Ireland had started brightly with a high tempo and show great determination not to let the Swedes any opportunity to settle on the ball.

It was tactic that reaped early dividends in terms of chances with Shane Long having a shot blacked for a corner, Glenn Whelan drilling one into the mid-rift of Swedish keeper Andreas Isaksson and Jonathon Walters driving his effort past the post with the keeper at full stetch.

Swedens early chances fell to skipper Zlatan Ibrahimovic who fired two free-kicks into the Irish wall and then turned a low corner from Sebastian Larsson, which had flown across the face of goal, into the side netting at the far post.

James McClean then produced a superb curling cross which completely deceived Isaksson and bounced off the crossbar before Ireland took the lead on 22 minutes

Robbie Keane pounced on an understrength back-header from Mikael Lustig and nudged the ball past the advancing Isaksson. The ball crept towards goal but rebounded off the post and when two Swedish defenders failed to clear the alert Keane, having picked himself off the ground, pounced to fire his 60th international goal into the roof of the net.

It was just the start Ireland wanted but it was Swedish who reacted better and after Forde had saved from Johan Elmander and Sebastian Larsson had headed wide with the goals at his mercy, the Swedes equalised in the 33 minute. A good move down the right ended with Lustig whipping in a cross and Elmander just got ahead of Richard Dunne to send a bullet-like header past Forde.

The heavy rain which then started falling added to the gloom which descended over the Aviva Stadium but the Irish started to get back into the game towards the end of the first half and Walters was not too far away with a lob that was just too high.

Neither side made any changes at half-time, although Ireland did switch McClean and Walters to opposite flanks, and the Wigan Athletic player soon had a couple of chances from range but only one hit the target.

Ibrahimovic, playing between midfield and the lone front man, then started getting on the ball and on two occasions in the space of a few minutes he sliced the Irish defence apart with through balls.

First he picked out the run from midfield of Sebastian Larsson but David Forde advanced and bravely saved at the Swedes feet. Then, in the 57th minute, he producing the through ball from which Anders Svensson outpaced Glenn Whelan and steered the ball past the advancing Forde to give Sweden the lead.

Giovanni Trapattoni introduced Simon Cox and Anthony Pilkington for Jonathon Walters and James McClean and as the game entered its final 20 minutes the Irish started to pepper the Swedish box but only created half-chances with Shane Longs weak header from a Marc Wilson cross probably the best.

The Swedes have now taken pole position in the three team race for second place and Ireland are now no longer in control of their own destiny,
Richard Dunne was the 3 Man of the Match and afterwards he said: "We have to stay positive. We have to go to Austria and if we win it will open up the group again. It was two sloppy goals we conceded."

In the other Group C games, Germany beat Austria 3-0 with goals from Miroslav Klose, Toni Kroos, and Thomas Muller while Kazakhstan came from behind to beat the Faroe Islands 2-1.

Republic of Ireland: David Forde, Seamus Coleman, Richard Dunne, John o Shea, Marc Wilson; Jon Walters (Simon Cox 68), James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, James McClean (Anthony Pilkington 74); Robbie Keane (capt), Shane Long.

Sweden: Andreas Isaksson; Mikael Lustig (Adam Johansson 65), Per Nilsson, Mikael Antonsson, Martin Olsson; Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Anders Svensson (Pontus Wernbloom 68), Alexander Kacaniklic; Zlatan Ibrahimovic (capt), Johan Elmander (Jonas Olsson 90+2). .

Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia).
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