Sweden's World Cup hopes dented by Greece loss

Sweden, after three previous victories, could only manage a consolation strike in the 80th minute through Robin Quaison.

Greece beat Sweden 2-1 on 8 September 2021. Picture: @EURO2020/Twitter.

ATHENS, Greece - Sweden's hopes of qualifying automatically for the World Cup ahead of Spain suffered a blow as second-half goals from captain Tasos Bakasetas and Vangelis Pavlidis gave Greece a 2-1 win in Athens on Wednesday.

Sweden, after three previous victories, could only manage a consolation strike in the 80th minute through Robin Quaison.

The Greeks, after three straight 1-1 draws in Group B, put themselves in the hunt for second place, with Bakasetas finding the net in the 64th minute.

The hosts doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Norwich City forward Christos Tzolis fed Pavlidis for a goal which at first was flagged offside, but VAR showed otherwise.

Quaison scored with a rebound but Sweden failed to find an equaliser.

Sweden struck the woodwork twice, with Viktor Claesson hitting the post in the 66th minute after Mattias Svanberg's blistering shot had also bounced to safety early on.

Spain won 2-0 in Kosovo to move four points clear at the top of the group, although Sweden and Greece both have two games in hand on the 2010 world champions.

European 2022 World Cup qualifying results on Wednesday:

Group B

In Pristina: Kosovo 0 Spain 2 (Fornals 32, F. Torres 90)

In Athens: Greece 2 (Bakasetas 62, Pavlidis 78) Sweden 1 (Quaison 80)

Group C

In Belfast: Northern Ireland 0 Switzerland 0

In Reggio Emilia, Italy: Italy 5 (Kean 11, 29, Utkus 14-og, Raspadori 24, Di Lorenzo 54) Lithuania 0

Group E

In Kazan, Russia: Belarus 0 Belgium 1 (Praet 33)

In Cardiff: Wales 0 Estonia 0

Group I

In Budapest: Hungary 2 (Szalai 9-pen, Botka 18) Andorra 1 (Llovera 82)

In Elbasan, Albania: Albania 5 (Manaj 32, Laci 58, Broja 61, Hysaj 68, Uzuni 80)) San Marino 0

In Warsaw: Poland 1 (Swiderski 90+2) England 1 (Kane 72)

Group J

In Yerevan: Armenia 1 (Mkhitaryan 45+5-pen) Liechtenstein 1 (Frick 80)

In Skopje: North Macedonia 0 Romania 0

In Reykjavik: Iceland 0 Germany 4 (Gnabry 4, Ruediger 24, Sane 56, Werner 89)

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