Sweden are one of three teams locked on 11 points in a tight FIFA World Cup qualifying Group C after a double from captain Zlatan Ibrahimović sank the Faroe Islands in Solna.
Suspensions and injuries forced coach Erik Hamrén into a raft of changes from the side beaten in Austria four days ago, with four players making their competitive debuts: Pär Hansson in goal, Per Nilsson and Pierre Bengtsson in defence, and Albin Ekdal in midfield. It was an old head that led the way, however, as Ibrahimović – making his 90th appearance for his country – took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Visiting keeper Gunnar Nielsen withstood wave after wave of attacks, until Swedish pressure paid off in the 35th minute when Ibrahimović dropped deep to feed Mikael Lustig on the right before advancing into the area to finish the full-back's cross.
Sweden failed to press home their advantage, although it was as late as the 57th minute that the Faroese mustered an attempt on goal, a long-range effort from lone striker Jóan Edmundsson. The confident home fans were suddenly given cause for concern when Andreas Granqvist was sent off with 11 minutes left, but their hero stepped up to provide the knockout blow, Ibrahimović converting an 82nd-minute penalty for his 41st international goal.