Ibrahimovic hat-trick helps Sweden crush Finns
Updated: 2011-06-08 09:51
Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring during their Euro 2012 Group E qualifying soccer match against Finland at Rasunda Football Stadium in Stockholm, Sweden June 7, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
STOCKHOLM - Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench to hit a hat-trick and fire rampant Sweden to a 5-0 demolition of Scandinavian neighbours Finland in their Euro 2012 Group E qualifier at the Rasunda stadium on Tuesday.
The striker missed the 4-1 victory in Moldova on Friday to rest an ankle injury sustained playing for his club AC Milan, but produced a finishing masterclass after joining the fray in the 25th minute after an injury to Ola Toivonen.
He netted his first six minutes after coming on, swiveling to fire home from close range to make it 2-0 after Kim Kallstrom had fired Sweden ahead with a freekick that eluded Finland keeper Anssi Jaakkola at his far post.
Ibrahimovic's second came four minutes after his first, Sebastian Larsson squaring him the ball for the simplest of finishes, and he could have had a hat-trick by halftime had he not fired a free kick a fraction over in the 41st minute.
His third goal came early in the second half as he rose to nod home a free kick from deep on the right touchline.
Sweden took their foot of the gas a little in the second half, but Ibrahimovic still managed to play in winger Emir Bajrami, who chipped the fifth goal over the onrushing Jaakkola with seven minutes left.
Sweden consolidated second place in the group with the victory, moving to 15 points, three behind leaders the Netherlands after six games.
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