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Swedes sweep to 3-0 victory over brittle Bulgaria

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Bulgaria's Georgi Milanov (L) kicks the ball in front of Sweden's Emil Krafth during their World Cup 2018 qualifier soccer match at Friends Arena in Stockholm October 10, 2016. TT News Agency/Anders Wiklund/via REUTERS
Bulgaria's Georgi Milanov (L) kicks the ball in front of Sweden's Emil Krafth during their World Cup 2018 qualifier soccer match at Friends Arena in Stockholm October 10, 2016. TT News Agency/Anders Wiklund/via REUTERS

By Philip O'Connor

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden swept to a 3-0 win over brittle Bulgaria thanks to goals from Ola Toivonen, Oscar Hiljemark and Victor Lindeloef, a result that put them joint top of World Cup qualifying Group A with France.

Striker Toivonen missed an early header but put the Swedes ahead in the 39th minute, scooping the ball into the roof of the net after a swift Swedish attack down the right.

Ivelin Popov could have put Bulgaria level minutes later but fired wide with the goal at his mercy and he compounded his error by poking another great chance wide in the second half.

Sweden doubled their lead in the final minute of the first half when they again sliced Bulgaria open down the right and full back Emil Krafth pulled the ball back for Hiljemark to score from close range.

The second half was almost entirely one-way traffic as the Swedes tightened the screw, Lindeloef adding a third on the hour mark from Toivonen's clever header back into the middle as Bulgaria failed to clear a set piece.

Having taken seven points from three games Sweden meet France in Paris on Nov. 11.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; editing by Martyn Herman)


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