The course is set. No one dares to knock germany off the top spot any more. Neither the fubballers from austria, who were fainthearted after their 3-0 defeat in munich, nor iren or sweden.
In the three-way battle for second place in the table, sweden will play kazakhstan on tuesday in astana (18.00 a.M.) at least maintain their comfortable starting position. The scandinavians have 14 points, ahead of austria and ireland (both 11), which still entitles them to participate in the play-offs for the 2014 FIFA world cup in brazil.
In addition, the two pursuers meet on tuesday in vienna directly and steal each other points from the swedish point of view bestoglich. Germany tops the table with 19 payers.
"It’s going to be a very difficult match, but now we have to see that we get the whole job done. It’s incredibly important that we don’t throw away what we achieved in dublin," says swede johan elmander.
In reference to the 2:1 victory in ireland, the tabloid "expressen" warns that the squad around star striker zlatan ibrahimovic blob not be infected by "germany fever" again. That’s what the team got sick of when they played 4-4 against germany and were so happy about losing points at home to ireland and in austria, he says. "We must remain focused. We still need a few more payers," ibrahimovic warns.
Despite a long-haul flight across the urals, a match on unfamiliar artificial turf and a major time difference, nothing should go wrong in the covered arena in astana for the playoff detour to south america. Therefore, according to "expressen", the swedes are also copying germany’s strategy and will live on before the duel with the swedish clock. They will travel, train and eat at times they are used to at home so that the body does not have to adjust to the time difference. This had helped the DFB selection to a 3-0 victory.
In ireland, fans no longer trust their own team to win the world cup after the defeat by sweden. The players in dublin bid farewell to austria with boos. One point from the three home games against germany, sweden and the alpine republic was simply too little for them. The "irish independent" is sure: "ibrahimovic has already ended ireland’s dreams of rio".
On a night when they needed to win, they didn’t even manage not to lose, the newspaper complained, scolding them for a lack of predictability in their team’s play. No one knows how this team will make up points on sweden. Even a success in austria could not be believed in. After that, the away game in germany and the final game against kazakhstan await him. This will probably be the last international match for coach giovanni trapattoni. His contract expires. Fans no longer believe in his predictions that they still have every chance of realizing their world cup dream.
Before the duel in vienna’s sold-out ernst happel stadium between austria and ireland, the statistics also speak clearly in favor of the ofb selection. Austria won eight of the 13 encounters. But even for the team of coach marcel koller, the first world cup participation since 1998 is hanging by a thread. A home win against ireland is mandatory. After that, a kind of final game was waiting in sweden before they had to do something for the goal difference at the end on the faroe islands. The deciding factor in a tie. And also in this balance the swedes have the best cards in the three-way fight for second place.