Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the hero for Sweden as his brace helped them secure a 2-2 draw with Denmark on Tuesday night, sealing a 4-3 aggregate victory.
While his first was a smart finish to break the deadlock, there was no denying that his free kick was the goal of the game which sparked scenes of celebration from the visiting section of the stadium.
The 34-year-old missed out on the 2014 World Cup, but he ensured that it wasn’t two consecutive major international tournaments by guiding the Swedes past their Scandinavian rivals to advance to next summer’s tournament.
Having had an impact in the first leg by scoring along with Emil Forsberg to give his side a slender 2-1 lead heading into the second leg at the Parken Stadion, he ensured that there were no shocks with a double to give the visitors a commanding lead and effectively ended the contest.
However, here was late drama as Yussuf Poulsen and Jannik Vestergaard scored late on to set up a nervy finish, but Sweden were able to hold on to the draw which was more than enough to see them through.
Having missed out on the World Cup in Brazil after a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick gave Portugal victory in a playoff against the Swedes, Ibrahimovic declared at the time that “a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup,” as reported by Sky Sports.
There will be no such issues this time round for the Paris Saint-Germain striker who will hope to sign off his international career with a starring role for his country in France next summer.