Sweden Secures Dominant 5-0 Victory over Azerbaijan in Euro 2024 Qualifiers
Sweden recorded their first win of 2024 European Championship qualifying with a commanding 5-0 victory over Azerbaijan at the Friends Arena, extending their perfect H2H record to three matches.
Both countries tasted defeat in their opening games and were therefore keen to ensure that they wouldn’t have to wait until the summer for their first victory. The Swedes came close to opening the scoring after just four minutes when Emil Forsberg’s shot from inside the area went just wide of the left post. Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak was lively in the first half, and he had a good chance when he broke free into the area, but he was thwarted by a last-ditch challenge from Anton Kryvotsyuk. The forward thought he had opened the scoring moments later when the ball landed at his feet from a free-kick, allowing him to divert it home from a couple of yards out, however, the linesman’s flag went up for offside.
The Blågult continued to be on the front foot, and seven minutes before HT they took the lead when Viktor Gyökeres headed the ball into the path of Forsberg, who beat his opposite number before releasing a shot that possibly surprised Emil Balayev and found the right corner to make it 1-0. The visitors could have levelled five minutes before the break, but Bahlul Mustafazada’s header from point-blank range was tipped over the crossbar by a brilliant reaction save from Robin Olsen.
The Milli komanda needed a response in the second half, but it didn’t appear to be forthcoming as Sweden almost doubled their lead just after the hour mark. The impressive Forsberg opened up space to shoot at the near post, but he was denied by the face of Balayev. Four minutes later though, Janne Andersson’s side were two to the good when Isak’s cross was turned into his own net by Mustafazada, leaving Azerbaijan with a mountain to climb.
The Swedes ran riot late on, adding a further three goals via Gyökeres, Jesper Karlsson, and Anthony Elanga, as the Eastern European nation’s wait for an away win in Euros qualifying goes on to a 36th game. Azerbaijan prop up Group F, while Sweden climb to third.