15th of November 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four goals, including a staggering overhead kick, as Sweden marked the opening of their new stadium with a success over England. The Paris Saint-Germain striker opened the scoring before Danny Welbeck netted the equaliser. Steven Caulker, one of six England debutants, put the visitors in front but Ibrahimovic levelled again before turning on the style with two more fabulous goals, the last one being a bicycle kick from 30 yards out.
Caulker, Leon Osman and Raheem Sterling all won their first caps from the start for England, while Ryan Shawcross, Carl Jenkinson and Wilfried Zaha were introduced as substitutes. Jack Wilshere also came off the bench to make his first international appearance since June 2011. England managed to create the first chance of the match when Osman was denied by goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson while Gary Cahill came short on a Steven Gerrard free kick cross. But it was Sweden who broke the deadlock as a cross by Mathias Ranegie from the left was squeezed in by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who saw his initial effort blocked by Caulker.
Sweden nearly doubled their advantage moments later but Ranegie blasted over the bar and the home side got punished four minutes later as Welbeck volleyed home on a cross from Ashley Young. An interesting statistic shows that Welbeck has now scored five goals for England from as many shots on target. The visitors gained some confidence and they managed to get in front as Caulker pushed Gerrard's cross into the back of the net.
England also enjoyed a good start to the second half but Welbeck and Osman came short on a Leighton Baines cross while goalkeeper Isaksson denied Osman and Gerrard later on. Sweden survived and gradually took control of the match and substitute Anders Svensson provided the assist for Ibrahimovic's second goal of the match. Then the striker put his side in front with a powerful free kick from distance and wrapped up the proceedings with the fabulous overhead kick from 30 yards out.
England are 1/10 at Bet365 to qualify for the World Cup finals in 2014 while Sweden are priced at 6/4.
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