STOCKHOLM, 2 September (Reuters) – Sweden recovered from a goal to leave Spain their first qualifier defeat in the World Cup in 28 years with a shock of 2-1 on Thursday.
Alexander Isak and Viktor Claesson produced sumptuous finishes to interrupt Carlos Solers’ early goals for semi-finalists in Euro 2020 and move Sweden to the top of Group B.
“It’s a shame, we went for the win, and probably in our best period of the game, they scored their second goal,” said Spain captain Sergio Busquets.
“The team is much more complicated now and we do not have things in our own hands. We went well, but maybe lacked a bit of luck, but we have to continue – there are still a number of matches left, even if the scenario is not the best right now.”
Sweden went up to nine points with three wins from three matches, while Spain dropped to second with seven points after playing one more match.
The match was barely five minutes old when Spain’s debutant Soler took the guests forward with a smart half volley from Jordi Alba’s cross.
However, the lead did not last long, as a minute later, Isak, who plays in Spain for Real Sociedad, took advantage of Busquet’s error on the edge of the box to equalize.
Both sides tested the goalkeepers as the hectic opening half continued.
Claesson hooked on Kulusevski’s midway through fine work from Juventus midfielder to shoot home the winner after 57 minutes.
Ferran Torres and Adama Traore were denied equalizers by fine Robin Olsen stops, while Robin Quaison should have sealed the victory for the hosts in the third minute of stoppage time, just to lift the ball over the ongoing Unai Simon and wide after Eric Garcia’s misplaced header.
Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond
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