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Sweden cruise, unbeaten Swiss on track for Russia


Paris (AFP) – Sweden crushed Belarus 4-0 to keep the pressure on their rivals in qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup as Switzerland remain unbeaten with a 1-0 win over Latvia.

Sweden now have ten points from five games to go provisionally top of Group A ahead of France who travel to Luxembourg later Saturday with little room for manoeuvre for group rivals the Netherlands, third with seven points, who play Bulgaria.

The Swedes overpowered Belarus with visiting goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov having a nightmare in Solna as he bundled in two of the goals.

Emil Forsberg scored twice, the first from the penalty spot after Marcus Berg was brought down by Igor Shitov in the box on 19 minutes.

The Leipzig striker got the second four minutes after the break when the ball slipped though Gorbunov’s hands with the goalkeeper also fumbling in Marcus Berg’s third (57) before Isaac Kiese Thelin (78) completed the rout.

In Group H, Bosnia-Herzegovina also went on a goal spree with a 5-0 win over minnows Gibraltar, who have now conceded 22 goals in five games.

Vedad Ibisevic scored in either half (4, 43) with Avdija Vrsajevic (52), Edin Visca (56) and Ermin Bicakcic (90+3) leaving Gibraltar with no chance.

Bosnia join second-placed Greece on 10 points, but the 2004 European champions later face Group H leaders Belgium who are looking to keep their perfect record intact.

Cyprus and Estonia remain in the bottom half of Group H after a goalless draw in Nicosia.

In Geneva, Switzerland kept their perfect record in Group B with a 1-0 win over Latvia.

Substitute Josip Drmic scored after 66 minutes just after coming on to give the Swiss a fifth win in as many games to stay top with 15 points.

Group B favourites Portugal, the European champions, who the Swiss beat 2-0 in their opening game, host Hungary later Saturday.

Tailenders Andorra got their first point of the competition with a 0-0 draw against the Faroe Islands.

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