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International reaction: Clark boosted by Ibrahimovic shutout
Ciaran Clark assesses draw in Stockholm.
23rd Mar 2013
International reaction: Clark boosted by Ibrahimovic shutout


Brown

Republic of Ireland defender Ciaran Clark has been boosted by the shutout of Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 0-0 draw in Stockholm.

Sweden's superstar striker endured a frustrating night against a stubborn Ireland defence in their World Cup qualifier.

His one meaningful effort was deflected wide and centre-back Clark enjoyed the challenge.

He said "Zlatan is a big, strong guy and his technical ability is unbelievable.

"So managing to keep a clean sheet away from home is obviously a brilliant result.

"I am sure it will give the whole back four, and everyone else, confidence going into the next game."

That will be against Austria back in Dublin on Tuesday and although Germany have taken a five-point lead at the top of Group C, the battle behind them is tight.

Ireland have slipped to fourth but they are just a point behind second-placed Sweden and level with Austria.

Clark continued: "It is a big game but we are happy with the point in Sweden and we can go on now, play at home on Tuesday and with a big crowd behind us hopefully we can get three points."

Ireland were good value for their draw although Sweden had the more clear-cut chances with goalkeeper David Forde forced into three top-class saves.

Clark added: "It is always a tough place to come. They have had some good results recently and for us to get a draw is a brilliant result in the end.

"We always felt we might get a chance to go on and get the goal. We had a couple of half-chances and were a bit unlucky not to come away with three points.

"Fordey made one or two good saves to keep us in the game but other than that we managed to keep them quiet.

"We showed we can create chances and we could have won the game. We have got to concentrate on the next game now."

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