DCSIMG

Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick painful for Mixu Paatelainen

MIXU Paatelainen's Finland were floored by Sweden as Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench to hit a hat-trick in a 5-0 rout in last night's Euro 2012 Group E qualifier at the Rasunda stadium.

The striker, still nursing the ankle knock that caused him to miss Friday's 4-1 victory away to Moldova, struck after 31 minutes, six minutes after he entered the fray.

Sweden were already a goal up by then, Kim Kallstrom scoring after 12 minutes as his floated free kick from deep on the right stole in at goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola's far post.

Ibrahimovic made it 2-0 when he swivelled to fire home first-time from close range. He netted his second four minutes later and rounded off his hat-trick early in the second half as he nodded home a free kick. Emir Bajrami completed a fine night for the Swedes with a fifth goal seven minutes from time. Sweden maintained second place in the group, moving to 15 points, three behind leaders the Netherlands after six games.

The Faroe Islands - coached by Brian Kerr - enjoyed a rare victory in Group C, winning 2-0 at home to Estonia.

In Baku, Mario Gomez scored again as Germany overcame an early let off to beat Berti Vogts' troubled Azerbaijan 3-1 and make it seven wins out of seven in Group A.

Mesut Ozil scored and set up another goal late in the first half for Gomez as Germany recovered from a shaky start and virtually sealed their place in next year's finals in Poland and Ukraine. Azerbaijan grabbed a consolation through substitute Murad Huseynov in the 89th minute, only for Andre Schuerrle to make it 3-1 in stoppage time.

In a friendly in Oslo, Morten Gamst Pedersen scored in the 83rd minute to give Norway a 1-0 win over Lithuania. The Blackburn Rovers midfielder hit a penalty kick straight at Ernestas Setkus, but converted the rebound when the ball landed right at his feet. It was another blow for Scotland's Euro 2012 Group I rivals Lithuania, who suffered an embarrassing 2-0 defeat against Liechtenstein on Friday.

 
 
 

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