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Sweden's Toivonen rescues point against Russia

by Sujay Dutt from Friends Arena

Russia and Sweden both remain unbeaten in UEFA EURO 2016 Group G after Ola Toivonen's 49th-minute goal secured a point for the hosts in Solna.

Oleg Shatov closes down Sebastian Larsson, who missed a 13th-minute penalty for Sweden / AFP/Getty Images

Erik Hamren's men came into the match without captain and talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic but the home side started positively. In just the second minute Toivonen almost put them in front but was a fraction away from connecting with Erkan Zengin's cross.

When Toivonen became the first player to actually hit the target, Igor Akinfeev denied the forward and Russia responded immediately. Stretching the Swedish defence as he drove forward on the counter, Aleksandr Kokorin composed himself 20 metres from goal, shifted the ball onto his right foot and side-footed into the corner, the deadly accuracy making up for any lack of power.

Sweden had a golden opportunity to equalise almost immediately. Jimmy Durmaz their best player on the night burst into the area and was tripped from behind by Igor Smolnikov, giving Sebastian Larsson the chance from the penalty spot. However, Akinfeev stretched high to his right to palm away the spot kick and keep his team ahead.

The rest of the first 45 was mostly a case of Russia enjoying control and dictating the rhythm of the game, but after the restart Durmaz again showed the way for Sweden. The Olympiacos FC man sprinted down the left flank, flew past his marker and curled in a perfect low cross which Toivonen fired in with relish from five metes to draw things level.

It could have gone either way after that, though Fabio Capello's Russia probably had the better opportunity to win it. It was goalscorer Kokorin whom the opening fell to, yet the FC Dinamo Moskva ace saw his effort from close range kept out by the legs of Andreas Isaksson, who rescued a point for his side., 9 October 2014

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Sweden 1-1 Russia
9 October 2014
EC Qualification 2016
Friends Arena (Solna)
Attendance: 49023
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Goals: Kokorin (10), Toivonen (49)
Missed Penaltie: S. Larsson
Sweden: Isaksson (C), Bengtsson, Granqvist, Antonsson, M. Olsson, Kallstrom (Wernbloom, 86), S. Larsson, Durmaz, Bahoui (Kacaniklic, 79), Toivonen ( Elmander, 57), Erkan Zengin.
Coach: Erik Hamren
Russia: Akinfeev, Smolnikov, V. Berezutski (C), Ignashevich, D. Kombarov (Granat, 88), Samedov (Grigoryev, 73), Fayzulin (Dzagoev, 87), Glushakov, Shatov, Kokorin, Dzyuba
Coach: F. Capello (Italy)
Yellow cards: Smolnikov (13), Erkan Zengin (32), Glushakov (51), Elmander (80), Wernbloom (90+6)

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