STOCKHOLM, June 6 (Reuters) - Sweden demolished visitors Iceland 5-0 on Wednesday helped by two goals from striker Marcus Allback to top their Euro 2008 qualifying group.
The Swedes, who are awaiting UEFA's verdict on the outcome
of their abandoned qualifying game with Denmark last weekend,
grabbed the lead in the 11th minute and never looked back,
taking all three points to lead Group F on 16 points.
'We had a slow start but it got easier the longer the match
went on,' Sweden coach Lars Lagerback told reporters. 'Our team
were incredibly effective. We're in a good position now but
we're not there yet.'
Allback opened the scoring when he picked up a poor
clearance inside the penalty area and struck a shot that
goalkeeper Arni Gautur Arason got a hand to but failed to stop.
The Swedes produced little in the next half-an-hour before
midfielder Anders Svensson made it 2-0 with a well-placed low
cross shot in the 42nd minute.
Former Sweden captain Olof Mellberg, not renowned for his
attacking qualities, wrapped up the first half scoring with a
beautifully placed volley from a cross by Niclas Alexandersson
amid poor marking by the Icelandic defence.
Markus Rosenberg then made it 4-0 early in the second half
before Allback grabbed his second goal by taking advantage of
further confusion in the visiting defence after 51 minutes.
The Iceland players thought referee Alain Hamer had awarded
a penalty for handball but instead he allowed play to continue
and Allback was free to fire Sweden's fifth goal past Arason.
On Friday UEFA announce their verdict on the match in
Copenhagen between Sweden and Denmark, which was abandoned with
the score at 3-3 when a fan attacked referee Herbert Fandel.
Fandel had awarded Sweden a penalty which was never taken.
'I am not worried (about the outcome)... I expect us to be
given the win,' Lagerback said.
The result of the match currently stands as a draw until
UEFA's disciplinary committee completes its investigation after
considering reports from the referee and its own delegates.