Sweden’s national football team beat Norway’s on home turf in Stockholm Wednesday night, after Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved every bit as tough as the Norwegians had feared. He scored three times in a match that ended in Sweden’s favour 4-2.
“Zlatan is in a class of his own,” Norwegian coach Egil “Drillo” Olsen admitted after the crushing defeat in the otherwise friendly match at Friends Arena. “He’s an important part of the difference between the two teams.”
Olsen has never taken Norway to victory over the Swedes and wanted badly to win this time. Instead Zlatan, who had praised Olsen’s coaching abilities earlier in the week, crushed his dream with scoring that began just a minute into the match.
Zlatan was also involved in most of the other scorings throughout the match. “I felt insecure almost the whole time, and that’s very seldom,” Olsen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “It was first and foremost on the defense that we struggled.”
Zlatan, who plays professionally for Paris St Germain, scored again after around a half-hour but Olsen’s young team didn’t give up, nailed a penalty kick and scored again, but so did Sweden. “I’ve been part of beating most of the big countries, but never Sweden,” Olsen said. Zlatan himself was diplomatic: “Norway played well, especially in the last half hour,” he told Viasat 4 when it was all over.