Wed. May 31st, 2023

Sweden came from behind on Thursday to secure the victory as goals from Alexander Isak and Viktor Claesson maintained their team’s perfect start to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

La Roja — whose unbeaten streak in World Cup qualifiers stretched back 66 games — took the lead inside four minutes when Jordi Alba lifted a brilliant ball into the box for debutant Carlos Soler to strike into the net.

But the lead barely lasted a minute as Isak won the ball outside Spain’s box shortly after play had restarted and fired a shot into the bottom corner.

Sweden’s second came just over 10 minutes into the second half as Spain failed to clear from a corner; Dejan Kulusevski was able to find Claesson, who hit a shot past Unai Simon’s near post.

Spain had an opportunity to equalize through Adama Traore, while Isak was also denied the chance to score his second goal by a superb tackle from Aymeric Laporte. However, the final score remained 2-1 in Sweden’s favor.

Sweden is now on a record run of seven straight home wins in World Cup qualifiers, which also includes victories over France and Italy.

It moves to the top of Group B with Spain second ahead of Kosovo, Greece and Georgia.

Elsewhere, European champion Italy tied Spain’s world-record run of 35 international games without a defeat with a 1-1 draw against Bulgaria.

Sweden’s victory means England, which beat Hungary 4-0 on Thursday, now has the best current unbeaten streak in World Cup qualifiers, stretching back to 2009.

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By tilu858

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