Everything pointed to penalties – but instead, Robin Quaison decided a protracted playoff thriller in overtime. Thus, the striker keeps alive the Swedish World Cup dream.
Here are five snacks after Sweden’s 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic.
• Matchovant Sweden won against the Czech Republic
It was hardly the strongest team that Janne Andersson put on the Friends arena lawn – but it was enough for a narrow victory against the Czech Republic. The rustiest of all was goalkeeper Robin Olsen who, despite not having made a match at all since the World Cup qualifier loss to Spain in November last year, kept a clean sheet. It has also been a long time since Marcus Danielson and Viktor Claesson, who for various reasons had not played a match since December.
• Would the Czech Republic’s target be approved?
It was far from obvious why the English referee Michael Oliver rejected what many thoughts were a 1-0 goal for the Czech Republic after ten minutes. The replay showed that defender Jakub Brabec had won his nod duel with his arm over the shoulder of Victor Nilsson Lindelöf before Jan Kuchta put the ball in the net, which was enough for the verdict to stand even after the VAR review.
Swedish target drought broken
Six halves, just over an extra quarter and 21 minutes plus overtime. Such a long time had passed without a Swedish goal from Janne Andersson’s national team in the World Cup qualifiers. But after 0-2 against Georgia and 0-1 against Spain, Robin Quaison was finally able to put an end to the goal drought. The so liberating 1-0 goal against the Czech Republic was the first for Sweden since Alexander Isak set the final score to 2-0 in the 69th minute against Greece at home at Friends arena in October last year.
• Elanga locked to Sweden
Janne Andersson said before the meeting with the Czech Republic that he did not feel any pressure to start with Manchester United’s Anthony Elanga to secure the talent’s future in the Swedish national team. The 19-year-old has also had the opportunity to play for Cameroon and England and needed playing time to be officially locked to Blågult – and as it became an extension in the extension for the young striker, it is now clear which national team Elanga will represent in the future.
• Friends blue and yellow – for Ukraine
Some form of demonstration was promised in advance due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Just before the kick-off against the Czech Republic, it was expressed through a pre-recorded speech by Janne Andersson who called on the audience to donate money to the victims of the war through the UNHCR. This was followed by a comprehensive tifo at the Friends Arena, the lower floor of which was colored yellow and the upper floors blue to imitate the Ukrainian flag.