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Wales 0-1 Sweden

Bolton striker Johan Elmander fires Sweden ahead just before the break
Bolton striker Johan Elmander fires Sweden ahead just before the break

By David Dulin

Johan Elmander struck a minute before the break as Wales slipped to a friendly defeat by Sweden in Swansea.

The Bolton Wanderers striker was free at the far post to fire home a corner into the top of the net.

Ola Toivonen earlier had a goal harshly ruled out for offside and Tobias Hysen was denied late on by substitute keeper Wayne Hennessey.

Wales captain James Collins had a header cleared off the line while Rob Earnshaw saw a close-range shot saved.

It was not the result manager John Toshack was hoping for as he starts to prepare for the Euro 2012 qualifiers, which begin in September.

His preparations were not helped by the loss of midfield star Aaron Ramsey, who suffered an horrific leg break playing for Arsenal last weekend.

But Toshack also left out influential captain Craig Bellamy sparking speculation over the Manchester City striker's international future in the build-up.

Aston Villa defender Collins was handed the captain's armband instead as Wales looked to clinch their first win in four attempts at the Liberty Stadium.

They started brightly enough creating two chances after 15 minutes.

Gareth Bale was Wales main attacking threat
Tottenham's Gareth Bale was Wales' main attacking threat

The first came through West Ham midfielder Jack Collison who started after passing a late fitness test on a knee injury.

He was picked out on the edge of the box by Ched Evans but his shot was deflected out for a corner.

From the resulting delivery, Collins rose highest and Sweden needed Birmingham's Sebastian Larsson to clear off the line.

While Wales could have taken the lead, Sweden could quite rightly feel aggrieved for not being ahead midway through the first half.

Toivonen was picked out from a right-hand cross to head home from six yards only to see his goal controversially disallowed by an offside flag.

Sweden went close again soon after when Larsson curled a 30-yard free-kick narrowly wide.

But it was Elmander who did the damage on the stroke of half-time.