On a return to international football, Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up the only goal for Viktor Claesson as Sweden defeated Georgia 1-0 in their first Group B World Cup qualifier on Thursday.
After a nearly five-year absence, 39-year-old AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic became the oldest player to represent Sweden, breaking goalkeeper Thomas Ravelli’s previous record of 38 years and 59 days.
The visitors threatened early on, but the Swedes steadily seized control when their attacking quarter of Ibra, Claesson, Alexander Isak, and Dejan Kulusevski took command.
Ibra chested down a ball into the box and volleyed it back at a close angle for Claesson to take a stroke and package in 10 minutes before halftime.
With the Swedes often sloppy in possession, Georgia created a few good opportunities, the best of which fell to substitute Levan Shengelia in the 82nd minute, but Kristoffer Nordfeldt made a superb save to maintain his clean sheet.
Ibrahimovic struggled to contribute to his tally of 62 international goals before being substituted by Robin Quaison in the 84th minute and retiring to the bench to watch his team win.