- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ola Toivonen’s second-half strike rescued a 1-1 draw for Sweden against Russia in Stockholm in European Championship qualifying on Thursday.

Russia, managed by Fabio Capello, kept first place in Group G with four points from two games.

Level on points was Austria, which beat Moldova 2-1 away, and Montenegro, which was unable to beat tiny Liechtenstein in a goalless draw.

The Swedes languish in fourth with two points after the draw with Russia followed an opening-day draw in Austria. They are without a win in three competitive fixtures dating to their failed attempt to reach the World Cup.

Sweden went behind after 10 minutes when Artyom Dzyuba set Alexander Kokorin free behind the Swedish defense, and the striker slotted the ball past Andreas Isaksson with a low shot from outside the box.

Sweden missed a good chance to respond almost immediately when Sebastian Larsson’s penalty was saved by Igor Akinfeev, making a symbolic recovery from a World Cup campaign marred by errors.

The spot kick was awarded after Russia right back Igor Smolnikov was adjudged to have brought down Jimmy Durmaz as they battled for the ball on the edge of the six-yard box.

Toivonen brought Sweden level in the 49th, finishing from close range off a left-wing cross from Durmaz.

Soon afterwards, Toivonen limped off with a pulled hamstring.

Midfielder Oleg Shatov could have won the game for Russia in the 58th when he picked up a pass from Kokorin and rounded Isaksson, but contrived to miss the target.

With political tensions high between Russia and the European Union, the Russian anthem was booed and jeered by some Swedish fans at Friends Arena. Some Russian fans displayed banners linked to a rebel group in eastern Ukraine.

Sweden was without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who remained an unused substitute because of a heel injury.

In Moldova, Austria took the lead on 11 minutes through a David Alaba penalty, but was pegged back 16 minutes later when Moldova’s Alexandru Dedov leveled from the spot.

Marc Janko headed the winner in the 51st but was later sent off near the end for violent conduct in a disagreement with Moldova goalkeeper Ilie Cebanu.

Liechtenstein earned a rare competitive point with its 0-0 draw at home against Montenegro, which would have led the group by two points with a win.

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