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2018 World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Marcus Berg (43')
  • Wesley Sneijder (67')

Sweden hold on for draw with Netherlands

Netherlands were left frustrated as a stoppage-time goal from Bas Dost was harshly ruled out to deny them victory in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier in Sweden, which ended 1-1.

The Oranje, who had failed to qualify for Euro 2016, failed to make the most of their first-half dominance as Sweden -- starting life without long-time talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic and under new head coach Jan Andersson -- took the lead just before the break with a fine lob from Marcus Berg.

However, Danny Blind's men continued to press following the restart and their industry was rewarded when captain Wesley Sneijder fired them level on 67 minutes.

After Dost had hit one close-range effort over, the Sporting Lisbon forward was then denied what looked a perfectly good goal in stoppage time when he headed in a deep cross, but was adjudged by referee Daniele Orsatoto to have put his arm into the back of defender Victor Lindelof -- much to the disbelief of the Dutch bench.

Netherlands, who lost 2-1 against Greece in Eindhoven last week, made a positive start at the Friends Arena in Solna.

Ajax captain Davy Klaassen came close to giving the visitors an early lead when his close-range shot was saved by Robin Olsen following a lofted ball into the Sweden penalty area.

Klaassen then fired a header straight at the keeper before at the other end, Netherlands keeper Jeroen Zoet beat away a 20-yard effort wide from Emil Forsberg.

Netherlands continued to press, as Vincent Janssen, signed by English club Tottenham during the summer transfer window, saw a close-range effort blocked.

Janssen then tested Olsen from the edge of the box with a dipping shot which was parried by the Sweden keeper.

Despite all of their dominance, Netherlands found themselves behind just before the break.

Kevin Strootman dwindled on the ball at the edge of the Dutch penalty area, before being robbed by Berg.

The Panathinaikos forward looked up and produced a brilliant chip to lob the ball up over Zoet and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Netherlands regrouped at the break and slowly gained momentum as a curling effort from Janssen clipped the top of the crossbar after cutting in from the right.

Blind's men were level on 67 minutes. Watford defender Darryl Janmaat charged down the right and cut into the Sweden box before sending a low shot goalwards, which Olsen palmed out and Sneijder, the veteran Galatasaray midfielder, coolly slotted into the net past yellow shirts in the six-yard box.

Strootman headed over before Dost was also off target after being played behind the Sweden defence, and then denied a dramatic winner by the decision of the referee.