Sweden prevail as McAllister limps off

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The Independent Online
Sweden 2 Scotland 0

Scotland lost their unbeaten record in 1995 after conceding two goals in a four-minute spell during the first half as Sweden comfortably won this friendly in the Rasunda stadium last night.

However, Russia's 2-1 win over Greece last night ensured that Craig Brown's team will finish in the top two of Group Eight which means they have all but qualified for the European Championship next year.

"We've done our maths and we are sure we're there," said Brown, who is bidding to become the first manager to guide Scotland to a European Championship finals at the first attempt. "I'm delighted for all the players and the fans back home."

His joy was only tempered by the result in Stockholm and the serious ankle injury sustained by his captain, Gary McAllister. The ligament damage will keep the Leeds midfielder out of Saturday's home Premiership meeting with Arsenal and their Uefa Cup second round, first leg clash against PSV Eindhoven at Elland Road on Tuesday.

Jorgen Pettersson and Stefan Schwarz scored for Sweden and it took two second-half saves from Jim Leighton to to keep the score down.

Sweden, who finished third in the World Cup in 1994 but have missed out on Euro' 96, included the Italian league players, Schwarz, Tomas Brolin and Kennet Andersson.

John Robertson and Alan McLaren went close for Scotland before they conceded the opener after 31 minutes. Brolin whipped in the ball from the right flank and Malmo's Jorgen Pettersson nudged the ball home. Four minutes later Schwarz added Sweden's second. Leighton looked at fault as the former Arsenal player drove in a 30-yard shot which bounced in front of him low to his right.

SWEDEN: B Andersson (Orgryte); Lucic (Vastra Frolunda), P Andersson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Bjorklund (Vicenza), Nilsson (IFK Gothenburg), Schwarz (Fiorentina), Alexandersson (Halmstads), Gudmundsson (Halmstads), Petterson (Malmo), K Andersson (Bari), Brolin (Parma).

SCOTLAND: Leighton (Hibernian); McKimmie (Aberdeen), Boyd (Celtic), Calderwood (Tottenham), Hendry (Blackburn), McLaren (Rangers), Burley (Chelsea), Robertson (Hearts), McGinlay (Bolton), McAllister (Leeds), Collins (Celtic). Substitutes: Goram (Rangers) for Leighton, 73; McKinlay (Dundee United) for Burley, 46; Nevin (Tranmere) for Robertson, 73; Jess (Aberdeen) for McGinlay, 46; Jackson (Hibernian) for McAllister, 60.

Referee: M-D Vega (Spain).