Sweden thrashed Luxembourg to maintain their hopes of direct world Cup qualification as well as push the Netherlands to the brink of removal.


Sweden, second in the group, hold a three-point lead and also an goal ahead that is much better by 12 goals over the Dutch, who they play on Tuesday.

The Dutch won 3-1 in Belarus, while France defeated Bulgaria 1-0 to keep their one-point lead over Sweden.

France will qualify as group champions if they beat Belarus on Tuesday.

Sweden can capitalize if France drop points, or else they are likely to have to go for a place in the play-offs.

Marcus Berg racked up four times for Sweden as Luxembourg, who drew 0-0 with France in September, were embarrassed.

The Netherlands, runners-up in 2010 as well as third in 2014, likewise failed to qualify for the 2016 European Championships.

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