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Elmander spurs Sweden success against Moldova

Published: Friday 3 June 2011, 22.45CET
Moldova 1-4 Sweden
A Johan Elmander double helped the visitors to a win that moves them clear in second place in Group E, although still six points behind the Netherlands.
Elmander spurs Sweden success against Moldova
Johan Elmander celebrates with Sebastian Larsson after scoring his second goal of the match ©Boris Kharchenko
Published: Friday 3 June 2011, 22.45CET

Elmander spurs Sweden success against Moldova

Moldova 1-4 Sweden
A Johan Elmander double helped the visitors to a win that moves them clear in second place in Group E, although still six points behind the Netherlands.

Johan Elmander scored twice as Sweden ran out comfortable winners against Moldova to complete the double against their Group E rivals and close the gap to the Netherlands at the top of the section.

Despite their bright start, Moldova found themselves behind early on when Ola Toivonen's speculative effort slipped through the hands of Stanislav Namaşco in the home goal. Elmander then doubled the lead on the half-hour before extending the visitors' advantage after the break. Igor Bugaev gave the hosts a faint glimmer of hope, but any prospects of a miraculous comeback were eradicated by Alexander Gerndt's 88th-minute strike.

Moldova started positively, Alexandru Suvorov's thunderous drive coming back off the crossbar inside the opening six minutes. It was the visitors, though, who made the breakthrough, when Namaşco allowed Toivonen's long-range strike to evade his grasp on 11 minutes.

Elmander soon put Sweden further ahead, shrugging off Igor Armaş's challenge and finishing neatly from the corner of the penalty area. Thirteen minutes into the second half, Galatasaray AŞ's new signing got his second of the game, latching on to Sebastian Larsson's low cross to make it 3-0.

Bugaev's goal just past the hour gave Gavril Balint's side hope of a comeback, but after Suvorov and then Victor Golovatenco were denied by Andreas Isaksson, Gerndt came off the bench to seal a fourth Group E victory for Erik Hamrén's men.

Sweden host Nordic neighbours Finland on Tuesday knowing victory will move them to within three points of the Netherlands, while Moldova return to action in September with a trip to Helsinki.

Last updated: 04/06/11 17.20CET

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