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Euro 2016 Qualifiers: Ibrahimovic Leads Sweden Over Montenegro

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in fine form for Sweden as they beat Montenegro 3-1 at home at Friends Arena in Solna. England squeezed out a victory on the road against Slovenia after two goals by Jack Wilshere and a late game winner by Wayne Rooney as the Lions gets one step closer to getting a spot in the European Championship next summer in France. Sunday’s round of games concluded Matchday 6 and here’s a full rundown on what happened.

Nations from Groups C, E and G competed on Sunday.

In Group C, Slovakia remains unbeaten at the top of the group after a 2-1 win at home over FYR Macedonia. Kornel Sata scored in the 8th minute and Marek Hamsik added a second before the first half was over. Macedonia pulled one back through Arijan Ademi in the 69th minute, but the Slovaks were able to see the game out to stay perfect after six games. They top the group with a maximum 18 points, three points ahead of second-placed Spain.

The Spaniards won a close game on the road against Belarus 1-0. David Silva scored the lone goal at the Borisov Arena in Borisov. Spain will look to spoil Slovakia’s record and go up on top when the nations collide in September. Belarus have fallen behind at sits at fourth with a mere 4 points.

In Lviv, the Ukraine beat Luxembourg 3-0 after goals by Artem Kravets, Denys Garmash, and Yevhen Konoplyanka. All goals came in the second half, and Luxembourg had a golden opportunity to take the lead after 10 minutes but hit the post. The Ukrainians are in third with 12 points and still have their destiny in their own hands as they play both Slovakia and Spain before the qualifications are over.

Standings Group C:

  1. Slovakia 18pts
  2. Spain 15pts
  3. Ukraine 12pts
  4. Belarus 4pts
  5. FYR Macedonia 3pts
  6. Luxembourg 1pts

The other nation with the perfect record is England in Group E. Wayne Rooney & Co. fell behind to Slovenia on the road after Milivoje Novakovic gave the home side the lead in the 37th minute, but battled back and took the lead after two goals in the second half by Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, his first for the national team. The Slovenians tied it up at 2-2 in the 84th minute after a goal by Nejc Pecnik, but just two minutes later Rooney scored the game winner. England tops the group on 18 points, six points ahead of second-placed Switzerland.

The Swiss had a tough time on the road against Lithuania and fell behind in the 64th minute after a goal by Fiodor Cernych. Josip Drmic tied the game five minutes later, and in the 84th minute star winger Xherdan Shaqiri scored the winner. The win combined with Slovenia losing, means that the Swiss now sits in second in the group with a three point cushion down to Slovenia in third.

Fans at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn left happy after Estonia beat San Marino 2-0. Sergei Zenjov scored both goals for the home side, as they went past Lithuania in the standings and now sits in fourth with seven points. San Marino is dead last with one point in six games and a goal difference of -19.

Standings Group E:

  1. England 18pts
  2. Switzerland 12pts
  3. Slovenia 9pts
  4. Estonia 7pts
  5. Lithuania 6pts
  6. San Marino 1pts

In Group G, leaders Austria got a huge 1-0 win on the road against third-placed Russia. Marc Janko scored the lone goal, which means that the Austrians still top the group and have a four-point cushion down to second-placed Sweden and eight points down to Russia. As long as they don’t lose out, the Austrians will be competing in France next summer.

The result was good for Sweden as well, as they now get some breathing room down to the Russians. The Swedes got a 3-1 victory at home against Montenegro after a goal by Marcus Berg and a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibrahimovic has now scored 56 goals for the Swedish national team. Montenegro stood up well, and although the scoreboard showed 3-0 Sweden after the first 45 minutes, that didn’t really reflect the game. Sweden’s three goals came in a span of seven minutes late in the first half. Dejan Damjanovic scored from the penalty spot in the second half, but despite creating a bunch a great chances, that was as close as they would get.

Liechtenstein and Moldova drew 1-1 as both teams are now out of the race for a trip to Euro 2016. Sandro Wieser gave Liechtenstein the lead in the 20th minute, but the Moldovans tied it up through Gheorghe Boghiu right before the end of the first half.

Standings Group G:

  1. Austria 16pts
  2. Sweden 12pts
  3. Russia 8pts
  4. Montenegro 5pts
  5. Liechtenstein 5pts
  6. Moldova 2pts

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