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FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: Sweden keep up pressure as Armenia win big
Jun 11, 2013 7:11 PM EST
Sweden kept themselves in contention for a place at next year's FIFA World Cup with a 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck twice to give them a vital three points over the whipping boys of UEFA qualifying Group C that moves them back into joint-second place behind Germany. The result at the Friends Arena in Solna was never really in doubt after captain Ibrahimovic opened the scoring after 35 minutes, and the Paris Saint-Germain striker doubled his tally from the penalty spot eight minutes from time to give the hosts a comfortable victory.
Sweden are now level with both Austria and the Republic of Ireland on 11 points from six games as the three countries compete for a play-off spot behind Germany, who sit five points clear at the top.
Armenia are also still in with a slight chance of reaching Brazil 2014 after their shock 4-0 win over Denmark in Group B.
Vardan Minasyan's side had scored just twice in their previous five qualifying matches, but went goal crazy in Copenhagen to move themselves within four points of second-placed Bulgaria. Yura Movsisyan opened the scoring in the very first minute before Aras Ozbiliz doubled the visitors' advantage just before the 20-minute mark.
Movsisyan's second of the game was then added to by a late Henrikh Mkhitaryan strike to give Armenia a convincing win that draws them level with Denmark on six points.
Elsewhere, Finland missed the opportunity to make up ground on France and Spain in Group I as they were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom-placed Belarus.
Teemu Pukki gave Mixu Paatelainen’s team the lead after 24 minutes at Gomel’s Central Stadium, but Dmitry Verkhovtsov's 85th-minute equaliser denied them the opportunity to move within two points of France and three of leaders Spain.