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Friendly match ends in draw

Ricardo Cabanas (left) blocks Fredrik Söderström's attack on the goal Keystone

Switzerland's national football team ended their friendly match against Sweden with a 1-1 draw.

Ricardo Cabanas rescued the Swiss team in front of 19,096 spectators in Malmö by scoring early in the second half to give Switzerland a 1-1 tie against World-Cup-bound Sweden.

The first goal of the match was scored in the 29th minute, when Swede Marcus Allback, a likely starter up front in the World Cup, kicked from close range to give Sweden a 1-0 lead.

But Cabanas tied it in the 54th minute, connecting with a diving header that flew into the top right corner past Swedish goalie Andreas Isaksson, who replaced Magnus Hedman at half-time.

This decisive shot was Cabanas’ first goal for Switzerland.

Lack of key players

Both teams were lacking key players with Switzerland’s national coach, Köbi Kuhn, having to cope without Jörg Stiel, Patrick Müller, Raphaël Wicky, Johann Vogel and Franco Di Jorio.

The Swedish team was also missing two strong players as FC Barcelona defender Patrik Andersson and Arsenal midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg could not take part in the match because of injuries.

As part of the country’s continuing preparations for the European Championship qualifier, Switzerland will next face Canada on May 15 and Austria on August 21 for a further two friendly matches.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR