Austria thump Sweden to book their Euro 2016 berth
Austria booked their place at Euro 2016 in emphatic fashion with a thumping 4-1 win away to Group G rivals Sweden
London: Austria booked their place at Euro 2016 in emphatic fashion with a thumping 4-1 win away to Group G rivals Sweden.
Players of Austria celebrate after winning the Euro 2016 qualifying group G football match between Sweden and Austria at the Friends Arena in Solna. Pic/AFP
The visitors strengthened their hold on top spot in the pool thanks to a rampant display which included two goals from Martin Harnik.
The Stuttgart forward added to David Alaba's early penalty to put Austria two up at the break and then added the fourth a minute from time after Marc Janko had scored the third.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an injury-time consolation for the Swedes, but they had nothing to celebrate, slipping two points behind Russia in the race for second spot.
The only points Austria have dropped in the group came in the reverse fixture when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sweden, but there was no doubt about Tuesday's result.
Bayern Munich full-back Alaba coolly clipped in the opener from the spot in the ninth minute after Mikael Antonsson had fouled Zlatko Junuzovic.
Ibrahimovic had a close-range effort blocked by defender Sebastien Prodl, but Austria doubled their lead in the 38th minute, Harnik racing to nod home at the far post from Janko's flick on.
Janko himself twice brought parries out of home goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson as the visitors kept up the pressure before the break.
Alaba tested Isaksson in the second half, while at the other end Robert Almer was called into action to keep out Marcus Berg's shot.
The lively Janko made it three 13 minutes from time, slotting home from Julian Baumgartlinger's pass.
Almer again did well to save from Berg and Emil Forsberg, but Harnik got number four with a close-range finish in the 89th-minute.
Ibrahimovic finally pulled one back two minutes later, but he and his team had been thoroughly outplayed.