Sweden bolstered their hopes of 2010 FIFA World Cup South AfricaTM qualification after a second lucky winner in successive games.

After Zlatan Ibrahimovic snatched a fortunate stoppage-time goal to see off Hungary on Saturday, an own goal from Malta's Ian Azzopardi clinched three points for Lars Lagerback's side. Azzopardi deflected the ball past goalkeeper Andrew Hogg after 81 minutes, after Sweden's Marcus Berg shot across goal.

Sweden began the match slowly and hardly threatened before Olof Mellberg headed just wide from Kim Kallstrom's free-kick in the 28th minute. Rasmus Elm passed up a chance before the interval as Sweden dominated possession but created little.

Kallstrom hit the post early in the second half after taking on a pass from Ibrahimovic, and substitute Tobias Hysen fired a shot off target soon afterwards. Hysen, of IFK Gothenburg, missed a glorious chance in the 66th minute when he headed Mikael Nilsson's cross but failed to trouble Hogg.

Johan Elmander was the next Swedish attacker to pass up a goalscoring opportunity, and with Sweden requiring a win it was proving a frustrating evening. Malta threatened sporadically, mainly on the counter-attack, but there was rarely any danger to the Swedish goal.

The Maltese seemed set to cling on for a goalless draw before Elm's long throw from the left caused panic in the home defence and Berg, beyond the far post, rifled across the ball, which Azzopardi turned into his own net.