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Sweden’s World Cup hopes dented by Greece loss

 

Sweden’s hopes of qualifying automatically for the World Cup ahead of Spain suffered a blow as second-half goals from captain Tasos Bakasetas and Vangelis Pavlidis gave Greece a 2-1 win in Athens on Wednesday.

Sweden, after three previous victories, could only manage a consolation strike in the 80th minute through Robin Quaison.

The Greeks, after three straight 1-1 draws in Group B, put themselves in the hunt for second place, with Bakasetas finding the net in the 64th minute.

The hosts doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Norwich City forward Christos Tzolis fed Pavlidis for a goal which at first was flagged offside, but VAR showed otherwise.

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Quaison scored with a rebound but Sweden failed to find an equaliser.

Sweden struck the woodwork twice, with Viktor Claesson hitting the post in the 66th minute after Mattias Svanberg’s blistering shot had also bounced to safety early on.

Spain won 2-0 in Kosovo to move four points clear at the top of the group, although Sweden and Greece both have two games in hand on the 2010 world champions.

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