Sweden overcame a tough challenge from Serbia to claim a win in their last friendly match before UEFA EURO 2012, Ola Toivonen and Zlatan Ibrahimović on target in Solna.
Sweden won by a single-goal margin for a second friendly in succession, but this was a tougher encounter than last week's 3-2 victory against Iceland. Toivonen pounced on a goalkeeping error to put them ahead after 23 minutes, but Neven Subotić replied within three minutes. Ibrahimović, though, had the last word, converting from the spot seven minutes after the break.
Iceland had given Sweden plenty of room to attack down the flanks, but Serbia proved much less accommodating at the Råsunda, denying their hosts time on the ball and showing greater intent going forward. Toivonen nonetheless got the first chance of the match after right-back Mikael Lustig crossed, but the PSV Eindhoven man failed to connect properly. He would swiftly make amends.
In the 23rd minute, Rasmus Elm sent in a corner from the left that goalkeeper Branimir Aleksić seemed on the verge of catching, but the ball slipped from his hands and gave Toivonen the chance to finish from a metre out. The euphoria, however, was short-lived, with Serbia's tall defender Subotić rising above his marker Andreas Granqvist to steer a ball from a corner beyond Andreas Isaksson.
Sweden imposed themselves much more in the second half. Elm, who had been peripheral in the opening period, sent Toivonen through on goal and when he was felled by substitute goalkeeper Damir Kahriman, up stepped Ibrahimović to plant the resulting spot kick firmly into the corner. Sweden held firm thereafter, and Kim Källström fired in a fierce left-foot shot after a string of nearly a dozen Swedish passes, but the keeper stood firm.
The big concern for Sweden, though, was Isaksson, who was substituted after complaining of pain in his thigh. However, according to the goalkeeper, there is no cause for alarm – his withdrawal was merely a precaution.