Sweden Overtakes Spain In WCQ With Just Two Matches Remaining

Sweden likely only needs a draw against Spain to automatically qualify for Qatar.

After suffering a 2-1 defeat to Greece back on Sept. 8, Sweden exacted a bit of revenge on Tuesday by winning 2-0 in Stockholm to leapfrog Spain at the top of UEFA World Cup qualifying Group B with only two matches remaining.

Third-place Greece hasn’t been eliminated mathematically, but really it’s over for the Ethniki

Sweden travels to Georgia on the group’s penultimate matchday while Spain travels to Athens. If the two favorites take care of business, then Spain and Sweden meet in Seville on the final matchday with the Blue and Yellow only needing a draw to secure automatic qualification for Qatar ’22. Anything less than a win for Spain and La Furia Roja enters the playoffs.  

With Zlatan Ibrahimović out injured, Alexander Isak has been Sweden’s star player. It was the 22-year-old Real Sociedad striker who, after an opening 45 minutes of Greek dominance, turned the game around for Sweden after bursting into the area and getting scythed by Konstantinos Mavropanos in the 59th. 

It was a clear penalty, and Emil Forsberg stepped up to convert it and calm the nerves of his countrymen. 

10 minutes later, that relief transformed into a party inside Friends Arena after Isak latched onto keeper Robin Olsen’s punt with a delicate first touch that allowed him to round Odysseas Vlachodimos before finishing with an impudent chip over a prone defender. 

A draw in Spain might seem like a very difficult ask, but remember what Sweden did to Italy to bounce the Azzurri from the 2018 World Cup? This cycle, Janne Andersson’s side has only conceded three goals in six games.

Spain vs Sweden

The way things stand ahead of November's final window.

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