Sept 3 (Reuters) - Sweden cruised to an easy 4-0 away win over Belarus in their World Cup qualifier to edge past France and take the lead in Group A but, with the French facing bottom side Luxembourg later on Sunday, their time at the top may be limited.
Sweden, who went into the game in Borisov in second place, three points behind France, after suffering a shock 3-2 defeat to Bulgaria on Thursday, took an early lead when Emil Forsberg collected a long diagonal pass and rounded the keeper to score.
Six minutes later Belarus defender Mikhail Sivakov tried to dribble his way out of trouble but was robbed of the ball by Christoffer Nyman, who fired home to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Sweden added a third before halftime, Forsberg turning provider after collecting another long ball and sliding it into the path of the onrushing Marcus Berg, who had the simple task of slotting the ball into an empty net.
Belarus started the second half brightly but could not find a way though the Swedish defence and captain Andreas Granqvist slammed home a second-half penalty for the Swedes to round off the scoring in the 84th minute.
The victory put the Swedes, who beat France 2-1 in Stockholm with a stunning late goal from Ola Toivonen in June, on 16 points, level with France but with a better goal difference.
Netherlands beat Bulgaria 3-1 at home to leap-frog them into third place on 13 points, three behind the Swedes with two qualifying games left to play, and the two sides set to meet in their final qualifier on Oct. 10. (Reporting by Philip O’Connor in Stockholm; Editing by Clare Fallon)