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Portugal qualify to 2018 World Cup in Russia

Wednesday 11/October/2017 - 01:10 PM
Sada El Balad

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal beat Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month's play-offs. skysports said

 

An own goal from Johan Djourou handed Portugal the lead on 41 minutes and Andre Silva netted a second before the hour as the hosts finished top of Group B ahead of Switzerland on goal difference.

 

Switzerland, who beat Portugal 2-0 at home last year, had won all nine previous qualifiers but must overcome a two-legged play-off in November to earn a fourth straight World Cup appearance.

 

Ronaldo, who was injured for the opening qualifying defeat in Basel, returned to the Portugal line-up after coming off the bench to notch the opening goal in a lacklustre 2-0 win in Andorra on Saturday.

 

AC Milan striker Andre Silva forced Yann Sommer into a smart early save from his deflected shot, with the Swiss goalkeeper then forced to make a terrific stop to tip over Bernardo Silva's venomous effort.

 

Pop star Madonna was among the crowd at the Estadio da Luz which erupted when Djourou inadvertently bundled a dangerous cross from Eliseu beyond Sommer four minutes before the break under heavy pressure from Joao Mario.

 

Xherdan Shaqiri tried to deceive Portugal keeper Rui Patricio with an ambitious free-kick early in the second period, but Portugal doubled their advantage with a brilliant team goal on 57 minutes.

 

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva exchanged passes with former Monaco team-mate Joao Moutinho, threading through the return pass for an unmarked Andre Silva to steer in at the far post.

 

Switzerland go into the play-offs as the best of the eight runners-up to advance, with Slovakia missing out as the worst of the nine second-placed sides.

 

Vladimir Petkovic's team will be among the seeded countries for the play-off draw on October 17 and could face Sweden, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland or Greece for a place at Russia 2018.

edited by amrmamdouh 

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