Acrobatic Ibrahimovic shoots down England

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic illuminated a low-key night of international friendlies on Wednesday, scoring an audacious overhead kick from 30 yards to cap his four-goal display in Sweden's 4-2 win over England.

Ibrahimovic's one-man show in Stockholm -- featuring what both his opponents and pundits hailed as one of the greatest goals seen in recent years -- overshadowed two high-profile matches between fierce European rivals, with the Netherlands and Germany drawing 0-0 and France coming from behind to beat Italy 2-1 away.

The prolific Lionel Messi was kept scoreless as Argentina was held 0-0 in Saudi Arabia, while Portugal, missing the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, surprisingly drew 2-2 in Gabon. Pedro Rodriguez scored twice as Spain defeated host Panama 5-1.

It was left to another of the world's leading strikers to take the plaudits, with Ibrahimovic's acrobatic strike with his back to goal described by England captain Steven Gerrard _ who made his 100th international appearance _ as ``one of the best goals I've ever seen live.''

``When I saw the goalkeeper was out I tried to put it against the goal, and luckily it went in,'' Ibrahimovic said. ``It's both luck and skill.''

The enigmatic Ibrahimovic punished England with a stand-out all-round performance to mark the opening of Sweden's new national stadium, the Friends Arena.

After poking Sweden ahead in the 20th minute from close range, the Paris Saint-Germain striker made it 2-2 by chesting down Anders Svensson's lofted pass and volleying home past Joe Hart.

Ibrahimovic's skimming free kick from 35 yards somehow beat Hart before the Sweden captain caused more embarrassment for the goalkeeper by capping the victory in stoppage time in memorable style.

Hart's weak headed clearance was latched onto by Ibrahimovic, who span and produced a bicycle kick that looped over the goalkeeper and two defenders into an empty net from well outside the area and from an angle.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.