Sweden 2-3 Argentina
6 February 2013
Friends Arena, Solna
Scorers: J Olsson, Elm (Sweden), Lustig OG, Aguero, Higuain (Argentina)
Argentina defeated Sweden for the first time in international football to take the UFWC title and become Unofficial Football World Champions. La Albiceleste dominated this exciting game, a friendly played – appropriately – at the Friends Arena in Solna.
Sweden went into the match as reigning champions, but Argentina were the bookmakers’ favourites. Both sides are among the top ten all-time ranked UFWC champions. All eyes were on the personal match-up between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi. Both captained their countries, but it was Messi who delivered the man of the match performance.
Sweden lined up with Ibrahimovic playing off striker Tobias Hysen up front. Argentina went with a front three of Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, and Sergio Aguero. And it was the Argentinian attack that struck first. Higuain’s shot was deflected into the net by Sweden full-back Mikael Lustig with just three minutes gone. End to end action followed, before Sweden grabbed a 17th minute equaliser, with Jonas Olsson heading home a Kim Kallstrom cross.
Just two minutes later, Angel Di Maria set up Sergio Aguero, who restored Argentina’s lead. Then, with three quarters of the match still to play, Higuain made it 3-1 to Argentina. Both sides had further chances, but there were no more goals in the first half.
Messi, influential throughout, almost scored a brilliant second half goal when he chipped Andreas Isaksson, only for the Swedish keeper to acrobatically bicycle kick the ball off the line. Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, was sitting on the bench, having been substituted at half-time. He was seen to offer a grin as the stadium announcer gave the man of the match award to Messi.
Sweden did grab another goal – a brilliant injury-time free-kick from Rasmus Elm, but it was too little, too late for the Blågult, who lost 3-2, and relinquished the UFWC title. Argentina are the news Unofficial Football World Champions.
This was Argentina’s 52nd UFWC title match win, and their first since October 2010. Next up for the new champions are a couple of World Cup qualifiers, against Venezuela and Bolivia on 22 and 26 March respectively. If you’re interested in betting on upcoming games try FREEbets.org.uk.
So the next UFWC title match will be Argentina vs Venezuela in Buenos Aires on 22 March. Venezuela briefly held the title in 2006, after taking it from Uruguay. Can they become Unofficial Football World Champions once again? You can keep up to date by following us on Twitter and Facebook.