Sweden retaliated against Greece for its missed opportunities, winning 2-0 at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, leaving the Greeks with only a slim chance of finishing in the top two of the group.
The national team needs a blessing now, meaning it must win its two remaining games, including that against Spain in Athens, and hope Sweden does not lose to Spain away in the last round of matches.
Greece wasted missed opportunities in the first half and surrendered in the second, with the Swedes taking their chances from the 58th minute on. Until then, the Greeks had been was the far better team on the pitch.
Greece hit the woodwork twice in the first half, through a Giorgos Masouras shot and a Vangelis Pavlidis header.
However just before the hour mark Dinos Mavropanos conceded a penalty, and Emil Forsberg opened the score from the spot.
Less than 10 minutes later Alexander Isak doubled Sweden’s lead after picking the ball from a goalkeeper Robin Olsen free kick.
Pantelis Hatzidiakos left Greece with 10 men four minutes from the end with a second booking.
Captain Tasos Bakasetas will miss that crucial game against Spain in November after receiving another yellow card.