Sweden start with a win
Rasmus Elm and Marcus Berg ensured Sweden made a winning start to their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan.
Last Updated: 11/09/12 9:55pm
Goals from Rasmus Elm and Marcus Berg ensured Sweden made a winning start to their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan.
The Scandinavians had sat out last week's round of fixtures, but gave their Group C opponents food for thought with a workmanlike performance in Malmo.
Sweden dominated the early stages but had little to show for their efforts with the exception of a 12-yard drive from Elm which was high of the target.
Pontus Wernbloom could also have done better with a corner from Sebastian Larsson after 21 minutes which the CSKA Moscow midfielder volleyed past the right post.
Johan Elmander was wasteful with another opening soon after but Sweden's pressure finally paid off after 38 minutes when Mikael Lustig's ball in from the left was turned into the net by Elm.
The same player had another chance two minutes before the interval but this time pushed his shot wide of the right post in another let-off for Kazakhstan.
Sweden should have made it 2-0 at the start of the second half when Larsson whipped in a cross for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the Paris St Germain striker saw his header tipped round the post by visiting goalkeeper Andrey Sidelnikov.
Kazakhstan had a rare sight of goal after 60 minutes when Pavel Shabalin saw his 12-yard strike cleared by Jonas Olsson.
At the other end, Sidelnikov was called into action again after 69 minutes when he saved a testing drive from Emir Bajrami with his feet.
Home goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson had not been tested so far but his first touch of the ball five minutes from time was a crucial one as he palmed away a strike from Mikhail Rozhkov.
And Sweden made sure of the win in the fourth minute of stoppage time when substitute Berg put the finishing touch to Ibrahimovic's cross.