Manchester United unveils Swedish center back Lindelof

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic said countryman Victor Lindelof was “ready for the big clubs” when the defender was first linked with Manchester United in late December.

More than a half-year later, Lindelof is trading red shirts. The 22-year-old center back is leaving Benfica for Old Trafford.

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Lindelof has 12 caps and a goal for Sweden, and played 47 matches as Benfica won the Portuguese Primera Liga and advanced to the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16.

The reported fee has been $39 million with the potential to rise as high as $50 million. Here’s Jose Mourinho, from ManUtd.com:

“Victor is a very talented young player, who has a great future ahead of him at United. Our season last year showed us that we need options and quality to add depth to the squad and Victor is the first to join us this summer. I know that our fantastic group of players will welcome him as one of us.”

Lindelof played every minute of Benfica’s UCL run, and also has experience at defensive mid and right back. He’ll fight to fit into United’s lineup alongside Eric Bailly.

UEFA WCQ roundup: Sweden defeats France; Ronaldo, Portugal cruise

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Tensions are high as World Cup qualifying continues throughout Europe and the rest of the world but on Friday it was UEFA’s turn to see which teams would draw closer to Russia 2018.

[ MORE: Giroud scores outrageous volley in France’s draw with Sweden ]

In Group A, Sweden had the day they hoped for a critical win over France at Friends Arena, moving the nation to the top of Group A. Hugo Lloris‘ late blunder cost Les Bleus a share of the points and handed the Swedes a 2-1 win. Things went the way of the Netherlands as the Oranje picked up a decisive 5-0 win at home against Luxembourg, propelling them to third play.

Meanwhile, Belarus pulled off an upset against Bulgaria, which was a great chance missed by the latter to move up in the table.

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to put the entire world on notice after netting a brace for Portugal on Friday in their 3-0 win over Latvia. Ronaldo and Co. remain second though in Group B after Switzerland kept its perfect record alive with a comfortable victory against the Faroe Islands.

Belgium and Greece both remain unbeaten in Group H with four matches left in qualifying, and after Friday’s win the Red Devils have pulled very close to reaching next summer’s World Cup after earning their fifth win.

Here are all the results from Friday’s UEFA World Cup qualifying action.

Group A

Belarus 2-1 Bulgaria
Netherlands 5-0 Luxembourg
Sweden 2-1 France

Group B

Andorra 1-0 Hungary
Faroe Islands 0-2 Switzerland
Latvia 0-3 Portugal

Group H

Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-0 Greece
Estonia 0-2 Belgium
Gibraltar 1-2 Cyprus

Video: Giroud scores outrageous volley against Sweden

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Olivier Giroud has shown that he can be a top-quality striker when the mood hits him, and he certainly found that quality on Friday.

The Arsenal goalscorer gave France a 1-0 lead over Sweden in the first half of their UEFA World Cup qualifying match at Friends Arena after netting a curling, outside-the-boot volley that would have any soccer fan speechless.

Unfortunately for the Swedes, Dimitri Payet‘s initial cross wasn’t dealt with in an orderly fashion, allowing the ball to drop at the feet of Giroud, who buried his attempt majestically.

Sweden did get the match back on level terms though before halftime when Jimmy Durmaz tied it at 1-1 two minutes before the break.

USWNT scores in 2nd half, beat Sweden 1-0 in road friendly

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Rose Lavelle scored in the second half, lifting the U.S. women to a 1-0 victory over Sweden in a friendly on Thursday night.

A perfectly timed run from the midfield by Crystal Dunn led to a through-ball for Lavelle inside the 18-yard box. Lavelle, 22, calmly put it home in the 56th minute for her second international goal in her fifth international appearance.

“I pulled out wide, Crystal popped in that pocket, and Crystal was running out the backline and laid an awesome ball to me and I hit it with my right foot,” Lavelle said of the goal. “When I got the ball, I was debating should I play it across the face of the goal or should I shoot it. I decided to be a little selfish.

“It was a good choice this time.”

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Earlier, Dunn had a semi-breakaway, but her shot was saved by Hilda Carlen.

In the match at Goteborg, Sweden, Alyssa Naeher got the shutout, with lots of help from Allie Long. Sweden had a dangerous chance in the 44th minute when Caroline Seger got free in the box. Her shot from the left side of the penalty area looked to be going wide before it was blocked by Long. The ball bounced over sliding goalkeeper Naeher, but Long recovered to sweep the ball off goal line.

“It feels good coming in, getting a game against a good opponent,” Naeher said. “I am happy with it.”

The United States is 21-6-11 against Sweden, including 3-0-0 in Sweden.

“To travel this far and get a result, sometimes those games you dominate and some you don’t,” coach Jill Ellis said. “And sometimes you just have to find a way to win, and I think we did that tonight.

“A lot of great lessons.”

The women will play Norway on Sunday to finish their two-game trip.

Swedish league game canceled because of match-fixing attempt

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STOCKHOLM (AP) A Swedish league soccer match between Goteborg and AIK was called off Thursday because of an apparent match-fixing attempt.

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Swedish soccer federation general secretary Hakan Sjostrand said it was “a very serious attack against Swedish football and we will never, never accept it.”

The match had been scheduled for Thursday in Goteborg.

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The federation said an AIK player was offered “a substantial amount … if he actively contributes to the club losing the evening’s planned match.” The Aftonbladet daily reported that Goteborg said its goalkeeper was approached.

Sjostrand said he was informed of the attempt late Wednesday, adding he regretted to postpone the game which he described as “one of the season’s finest moments.”

Goteborg chairman Frank Andersson said he was informed that “that one or several players had been approached and offered money to help lose the match.”

Andersson said he “fully backed the decision” to postpone the match.

“One thinks, this is not going to happen to us. Then it becomes real and one has to digest it,” Andersson said. “I don’t think one should be naive. We have worked with this for quite some time.”

Swedish police spokesman Fredrik Gardare said authorities were “taking this seriously,” but refused to give details about the investigation.

“Those who try to pressure players either with threats or bribes will have a tough time,” Gardare said.

AIK, a team based in Stockholm, is in sixth place in the league with 14 points while Goteborg is in 11th with 10 points.

AIK sporting director Bjorn Wesstrom said it had not been decided when the game would be played, adding that the players would not comment on the situation.

Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.