International round-up: Germany lose four-goal lead as Ibrahimovic inspires Sweden fightback

 

Germany squandered a four-goal advantage with 30 minutes to play as Sweden fought back to claim a 4-4 draw last night.

After defeating the Republic of Ireland 6-1 on Friday, Joachim Löw's side looked set for another proud night in front of their home crowd but Miroslav Klose's feat in moving one goal shy of Gerd Müller's all-time Germany goalscoring record was overshadowed by his side's capitulation.

Klose's two goals, complemented by Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker's close-range finish and Mesut Ozil's strike gave Germany a 4-0 lead after 55 minutes. But the Sweden captain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, launched the fightback with a brilliant header in the 62nd minute. Mikael Lustig pulled another goal back before Johan Elmander cut Germany's lead to 4-3. Rasmus Elm then grabbed the equaliser just before the final whistle as Germany lost their 100 per cent record in Group C.

The result leaves the group open for Ireland who are one off seven-point Sweden, whom they play next in the group, and four away from Germany. Austria are on four points thanks to a 4-0 win over Kazakhstan.

Northern Ireland looked set to spoil Cristiano Ronaldo's 100th cap as they desperately held on to a 1-0 lead following Niall McGinn's first-half goal against Portugal in Porto in Group F. The visitors' defence finally gave way to Helder Postiga's 79th-minute equaliser but Michael O'Neill's side still earned a very creditable 1-1 draw.

"I'm hugely proud of the effort and what the players gave us tonight," said O'Neill. "I think we saw a huge amount of character in this team."

Montenegro emerged as England's main threat in Group H after last night's shock 1-0 win in Ukraine put them level with Roy Hodgson's side on seven points from three games. Dejan Damjanovic scored the only goal of the game after 45 minutes. Moldova won 2-0 in San Marino in Group H's other match.

Macedonia recorded a shock of their own, defeating Serbia 1-0 at home to offer a sliver of hope to Scottish and Welsh ambitions of qualification from Group A. Two points separate those four sides with the eastern European teams three adrift of second-placed Belgium.

Fabio Capello's Russia are one of only two European nations who can boast a 100 per cent record after their 1-0 win over Azerbaijan. The home side dominated proceedings but could not find a way through until Roman Shirokov's 84th-minute penalty eased the former England manager's nerves.

Italy came away convincing winners from their match with Denmark 4-1. Two goals from Daniele de Rossi and one each for Riccardo Montolivo and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli saw the Azzurri romp home in spite of Pablo Daniel Osvaldo's 46th-minute sending-off for violent conduct at the start of the second half.

The Netherlands, finalists in 2010, won their fourth successive match 4-1 in Romania. Jeremain Lens headed the Dutch into a ninth-minute lead and Bruno Martens made it 2-0 by tapping in a Rafael van der Vaart free-kick. The home side pulled a goal back through Ciprian Marica but on half-time Louis van Gaal's side restored their two-goal lead when Van der Vaart scored from the spot. Robin van Persie completed the scoring.

 



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links