Swede dreams as Ibrahimovic calls for Belgium win

Toulouse (France) (AFP) – Superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has called on Sweden to beat Belgium next week and save their Euro 2016 campaign after a 1-0 defeat to Italy in Toulouse on Friday.

After a disappointing 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland in which Ciaran Clark’s own goal, following Ibrahmovic’s pass in to the area, secured a share of the points for the under-par Swedes, Erik Hamren’s men proved tough customers for the Azzurri.

But against a tight and well-drilled Italian defence, the Swedes’ paid for their lack of cutting edge when Brazil-born Inter Milan striker Eder struck in the 88th minute strike.

Ibrahimovic said: “We played good until the 88th minute, then we made a mistake and they scored, unfortunately.”

Sweden now have to beat Belgium to have any chance of remaining in the competition.

And although he said he relished the chance to play against some former teammates and rivals from Serie A, former Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic cut a dejected figure after the game.

“It’s always special to play against Italy,” he said.

“We still have one game. If we win against Belgium and get a good result then we can qualify and get to the next round.”

Asked what elements of their game Sweden would have to improve, he added: “The first game we did nothing good and we still got a point. Today (Friday) we did a lot of good things and got zero points.”


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