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Sweden Sink Irish

Republic of Ireland saw their 2014 FIFA World Cup hopes take a major blow as they went down 2-1 at home to Sweden in a qualifier on Friday night.

The Irish took the lead through Robbie Keane but goals from Johan Elmander and Anders Svensson turned the result around.

James McClean came close to a freak goal in the 20th minute when he beat his defender and whipped in a cross as the wind carried the ball onto the crossbar.

The opening goal came just two minutes later though as Shane Long's header was not dealt with which allowed Robbie Keane to get a foot to the ball which hit the post, but he got up to tuck away the rebound.

The hosts would then suffer a scare in the 27th minute as Long pulled up when kicking the ball but after receiving treatment he came back onto the field.

The Swedes were back on level terms in the 33rd minute though as Johan Elmander sent his header past David Forde after getting ahead of Richard Dunne to meet a cross into the area.

The visitors were frustrated in the opening minutes of the second period but that changed when Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent Anders Svensson free down the left and he beat Forde at the near post.

Ireland were unable to find a way back into the game in the latter stages and Sweden claimed the spoils to get back into the hunt for a play-off spot.

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