The Green Army lost major ground in the race to Brazil.
The Republic of Ireland’s hopes of World Cup qualification are hanging by a thread after Sweden came from behind to clinch a deserved victory at the Aviva Stadium.
Victory shifts Sweden up to second behind Group C leaders Germany and three points ahead of Giovanni Trapattoni’s men, who realistically need two wins from their remaining qualifiers to have a chance of making it to Brazil.
For a brief moment it looked as if it was going to be Ireland’s night when captain Robbie Keane scrambled home his 60th international goal after chasing down a weak back header by Mikael Lustig and stabbed his initial effort off the post before converting the rebound.
But their supremacy quickly evaporated as the visitors drew level 12 minutes later. Lustig made up for his earlier mistake with a dangerous right-wing cross that new Norwich striker Johan Elmander gleefully headed past David Forde.
And the game was settled by one of Sweden’s elder statesmen just before the hour. Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked out veteran Anders Svensson to run through and secure victory on the night he won a national-record equalling 143rd cap.
Video courtesy of hayscout