World Cup qualifiers: Sweden fightback stuns Germany

Sweden staged an extraordinary comeback in their World Cup qualifier with Germany, fighting back from 4-0 down with 30 minutes left to draw 4-4.

Rasmus Elm scored Sweden's equaliser in Berlin in the 93rd minute, ending Germany's 100% record in Group C.

Spain were also denied victory by a stoppage-time goal, with a 94th-minute header by Olivier Giroud in Madrid rescuing a point for France in Group I.

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I can find no explanation as to how we let a 4-0 lead slip out of our hands. It's deathly quiet in the changing room. Players are laid out on the benches and are totally speechless

Joachim Loew Germany boss

Sergio Ramos had put Spain ahead from a Xavi corner in the first half.

The world and European champions had missed a chance to extend their lead when France keeper Hugo Lloris saved a Cesc Fabregas penalty just before half-time.

But the biggest surprise of the night was seeing Germany fail to secure victory, after holding a four-goal lead, for the first time in their history.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mikael Lustig and Johan Elmander scored in the space of 14 minutes, before Elm's opportunistic strike completed an unlikely fightback.

"It was still a strange feeling in the dressing room, it's not every day on the international stage that you come back for a 4-4 draw having been 4-0 down," Sweden boss Erik Hamren said.

"To come to Germany and get a point against one of the best teams in the world is incredible. It is something historical, I am very proud of my team and the way they reacted."

Germany boss Joachim Loew described a very different mood in his camp, and said he was left stunned by his side's uncharacteristic collapse.

"To sum things up, the first 60 minutes were brilliant from us, the last 30 were incredibly weak," Loew said.

"Honestly, shortly after the game I can find no explanation as to how we let a 4-0 lead slip out of our hands. It's deathly quiet in the changing room. Players are laid out on the benches and are totally speechless."

The Netherlands and Russia are now the only European nations to hold perfect winning records in this qualifying campaign.

The Dutch clinched an impressive away win over Romania, who had been their nearest rivals in Group D, with Robin van Persie's late goal rounding off a 4-1 victory in Bucharest.

But Fabio Capello's Russia needed a late penalty to see off Azerbaijan in Group F despite dominating their match in Moscow.

Spain's winning run ends

Olivier Giroud's equaliser for France not only ended Spain's 100% start in Group I, it also ended their run of 24 consecutive qualifying victories in the World Cup and European Championship

Roman Shirokov scored their winner from the spot, following a foul on substitute Vladimir Bystrov. TV replays showed the foul on Bystrov was committed outside the area.

Scotland slipped to bottom of Group A after they lost to Belgium and Macedonia saw off Serbia to secure their first victory and climb to fourth place, above both Craig Levein's side and Wales.

Italy lead the way in Group B, seeing off Denmark 3-1 in Milan with goals from Riccardo Montolivo, Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli, despite having Pablo Osvaldo sent off at the start of the second half.

In Group E, Switzerland stay top after beating Iceland in Reykjavik, while Greece and Bosnia are in control of Group G after wins over Slovakia and Lithuania respectively.

The postponement of England's game in Poland in Group H allowed Montenegro to move level on points with Roy Hodgson's side at the top of the group, after their 1-0 win in Ukraine.