Rangers star Filip Helander might’ve made the starting XI for Sweden against Greece amid injury doubts, but his involvement in World Cup Qualifying was overshadowed by defeat.
The defender, 28, had been the man of the moment for club and country after his Old Firm matchwinner v Celtic and Big Fil’s inspired performance in victory over Spain.
But Swedish manager Janne Andersson had raised doubts about the player’s potential involvement in the final match of the international break against Greece.
However, Andersson cleared the Rangers star for the match in Athens with Helander going straight into the starting line-up.
Prior to the match the Swedes held a perfect record in World Cup Qualifying Group B but unfortunately fell to their first defeat in a 2-1 loss to Greece.
After a goalless first half the Greeks would go into a two goal lead courtesy of goals from Anastasios Bakasetas and Vangelis Pavlidis.
Substitute Swedish striker Robin Quaison would then pull one back for the Scandinavians but it wasn’t to be as Helander was hooked with two minutes to go.
The big Swede was also yellow-carded in the 70th minute and Sweden will be hoping this was a temporary blip in their campaign to reach Qatar 2022.
World Cup regulars, the Scandinavians usually find a way but for now Group B remains relatively open.
Spain are top on 13 points having played six games, whilst Sweden sit 2nd on 9 points despite only having played four.
Greece – the Swedes biggest competitors to a Playoff place – are 3rd with 6 points having played four matches.
Another Ibrox international was in action last night and he helped lead his side to a valiant result which keeps their qualification hopes alive.