Germany were the chief beneficiaries as Sweden and the Republic of Ireland played out a hard-fought goalless draw in Solna.
Sweden's last Group C outing was that near-miraculous 4–4 draw with Germany in Berlin in October, and while tonight brought the same reward – a FIFA World Cup qualifying point – it was rather less spectacular fare.
The evening began excitingly enough, Kim Källström trying his luck inside the opening seconds, but it was the visitors who showed more intent going forward early on.
James McClean drew cheers of approval when, in front of the visiting fans, he cleverly dummied his way through the left side of the Sweden back line. Alas, his cross was not of the same quality. Shane Long was next, running at a retreating Swedish defence only to fire over.
Midway through the first half Zlatan Ibrahimović came to the fore, heading into the path of Tobias Hysén, whose powerful left-footed effort was well saved by David Forde at full stretch. The Irish goalkeeper made a similar save soon after to repel a Källström free-kick.
The second period offered very little from either side – until the very last minute of added time when substitute Ola Toivonen sent a fierce shot goalwards, but once again Forde was up to the task. The draw leaves Sweden and Ireland second and fourth in Group C, respectively five and six points adrift of pacesetters Germany.