Spain lose World Cup qualifier for the first time in 28 years after defeat by Sweden in Stockholm

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Spain have lost a World Cup qualifier for the first time in 28 years after being beaten by Sweden in Stockholm.

Goals from Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak and Viktor Claesson ended La Roja’s incredible 66-game unbeaten run in World Cup qualifying at the Friends Arena on Thursday night after Valencia’s Carlos Soler had earlier scored within five minutes of his senior international debut.

Not since March 1993 had Spain previously failed to claim at least a point from a World Cup qualifier, with Povlsen Flemming on target then as Javier Clemente’s team containing the likes of Pep Guardiola and Andoni Zubizarreta went down 1-0 to reigning European champions Denmark in Copenhagen.

Sweden now sit top of Group B after starting out on the road to Qatar 2022 with three straight wins, while Spain drop to second, two points adrift with two victories from four matches so far.

“The group is going to be much tougher now,” admitted Spain captain Sergio Busquets. “We still have lots of games left, even if we don’t have our fate in our hands.”

Spain host Georgia next in Badajoz on Sunday evening before travelling to Kosovo on Wednesday, while Sweden play Greece.

Spain and Sweden also met at the European Championship finals back in June, with Luis Enrique’s team left frustrated by a goalless Group E draw despite dominating proceedings on home soil in Seville.

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