Published Friday, 06 September 2013
Robbie Keane scored Ireland’s goal during the 2-1 defeat to Sweden. (© Getty)
The 37-year-old midfielder, who matched Thomas Ravelli's leading caps total for their country at the Aviva Stadium, fired home from Zlatan Ibrahimovic's slide-rule 57th-minute pass to help the Swedes complete a stirring comeback in front of a packed house.
It had started so well for Ireland when Robbie Keane blasted them ahead with 22 minutes gone, the 60th goal of his senior international career.
But with Ibrahimovic casting himself in the role of provider rather than executioner, the home side wilted as first victory, then the minimum requirement of a draw slipped from their grasp.
Johan Elmander levelled after 33 minutes with a bullet header to pave the way for Svensson to finish the job and arguably, Ireland's hopes of making it to Brazil next summer.
Giovanni Trapattoni's men will head for Austria on Tuesday night knowing nothing short of victory will give them any chance of wrestling back a chance of snatching second place in Group C, and even them they might have to do something special away to runaway leaders Germany to achieve it.
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