Defender Olof Mellberg scored twice as Sweden comfortably won their final 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ Group 1 qualifier, but Portugal's 4-0 defeat of Malta meant they missed out on a play-off for a place in South Africa. Lars Lagerback's men went into the game trailing the Iberian side by a point and thus knowing their fate was out of their hands.

They did their bit as Markus Berg and Anders Svensson also got their names on the scoresheet, but events elsewhere meant their bid for qualification reached its end.

Albania went close in the second minute as Hamdi Salihi shot over, but Sweden were ahead just four minutes later. Kim Kallstrom delivered a corner to the centre of the six-yard box, where Mellberg powered it past goalkeeper Samir Ujkani.

The hosts dominated possession in the first half, but had to wait until five minutes before the interval to extend their advantage. Substitute Berg seized on Armend Dallku's error, rounded Ujkani and slotted the ball into the empty net.

And it was 3-0 by the interval as another set-piece found its way to Olympiakos talent Mellberg, who slotted home his second goal of the night and only the seventh of his international career in his 98th appearance.

Salihi was left unmarked at a corner to head home in the 56th minute and give Albania hope of a comeback, and they created a series of half-chances in an improved second-half showing. Sweden then lost influential striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a knee injury, with Markus Rosenberg taking his place.

Ujkani made a stunning save from Berg with six minutes remaining, turning a fierce drive around his near post for a corner. But he was powerless to stop Svensson rounding off the victory two minutes later as the Elfsborg midfielder weaved his way through the visiting defence and slotted past the keeper.

Lagerback had already revealed he and assistant Roland Andersson would stand down should their side fail to qualify, while veteran striker Henrik Larsson also indicated he would take his leave of international football, having initially retired in 2002 only to return in 2004.