Russia revived its hopes of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship by defeating Sweden 1-0 at home on Saturday.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia revived its hopes of qualifying for the 2016
Sweden was dealt a double blow in losing talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to injury.
Late on, Sweden's
"I'm very happy that we managed to get the win in my first match," said Russia coach Leonid Slutsky, who was appointed last month as
Russia stayed third in Group G but was only one point behind Sweden, which holds the second of the automatic qualifying places.
Both teams could have scored in a panicked five minutes of second-half stoppage time which saw Kokorin fire one shot at goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson and another over the bar, while Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev saved a hard, low shot from Emil Forsberg in the dying seconds.
Both teams also had goals disallowed in the first half. Russia midfielder Shirokov, playing high up the pitch, saw his eighth-minute strike called back for a doubtful offside, and Andreas Granqvist put the ball into the net, only to be called back for a foul.
Ibrahimovic was replaced by Ola Toivonen at halftime after complaining of a leg injury. Coach Erik Hamren said it was not clear if Ibrahimovic would be able to play against Austria on Tuesday.
"It's a big difference if he's playing or not, because he's a world-class player," Hamren said.
Group leader Austria hosted