Ibrahimovic's Sweden faces Denmark in Euros playoff derby
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 19, 2015 10:01 AM
(AJ Mast / AP Images for International Champions Cup)
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden will face Denmark in a Nordic derby as eight teams chase the remaining four places at Euro 2016 through playoffs next month.
"Of course, Zlatan means a lot for us, of course, but we need more than one player to win over Denmark," Sweden coach Erik Hamren said of his country's all-time leading scorer after Sunday's draw.
The two-legged playoffs are spread over six days next month, starting on Nov. 12 with Norway hosting Hungary before playing in Budapest three days later. Hungary has not beaten Norway since 1981.
Ireland, which qualified for Euro 2012 through the playoffs, faces Bosnia-Herzegovina this time. Martin O'Neill's team is away on Nov. 13 and completes the playoff in Dublin on Nov. 16.
"It's incredible to play in that (Dublin) stadium, with those fans," Bosnia coach Mehmed Bazdarevic said after the draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon.
"Now, for the players, it will be very hard, we need to get well prepared, negotiate the first match well and then go there with a great hope — even with all the difficulties we still face to qualify."
In a repeat of a Euro 2000 playoff, Ukraine and Slovenia were paired together again. Slovenia, which is in Kiev on Nov. 14 and at home three days later, won back in 1999.
Alongside host nation France, the other finalists so far are: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Wales.