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Estadio da Luz (ATT 64,000) 15th November 2013 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: N Rizzoli

Portugal Portugal vs Sweden Sweden

Portugal 1

C Ronaldo (82)

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Sweden 0

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World Cup qualifying play-off: Cristiano Ronaldo gives Portugal first-leg lead to take to Sweden

Last Updated: 15/11/13 11:12pm

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Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored a late header to give Portugal a slender lead

Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored a late header to give Portugal a slender lead

Cristiano Ronaldo's late header gave Portugal a 1-0 win over Sweden in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying play-off in Lisbon.

Ronaldo once again proved himself to be the man for the big occasion as he emerged victorious from his shoot-out with Zlatan Ibrahimovic to give Paulo Bento's side the upper hand in their battle for a place at next summer's finals in Brazil.

The bout of the two heavyweights actually proved to be a damp squib for 80 minutes as the two stars failed to shine, before the Portugal captain piped up to secure a 1-0 win with eight minutes left; his 63rd goal of the year.

A slender advantage may not be too great heading to the return leg on Tuesday but after a fairly dire night aside from the goal, it could prove to be invaluable.

The Real Madrid man had grown increasingly frustrated as his side laboured prior to the goal, and was booked for a silly late tackle on goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.

He channelled his angst in the right way, though, and would have added a second not long after were it not for the bar.

After all the hype surrounding Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic it was perhaps typical that they were largely subdued, with neither involved in the early exchanges.

Joao Moutinho spurned Portugal's first chance after five minutes, with Ronaldo nothing more than a bystander.

The Monaco man timed his run on to Raul Meireles' pass to perfection but, after doing the hard part and rounding the advancing Isaksson, he went too far away from the goal and hit the left side-netting.

Sweden roared straight back and Mikael Lustig's cross from the right was met by a stretching Johan Elmander, but as he fell he failed to control the ball and poked across the goal.

Ibrahimovic first reared his head in the 20th minute as a slick dummy allowed Elmander's pass to find Seb Larsson who unleashed a strike which Rui Patricio dealt with.

Sweden continued to make the running, but from distance, and Kim Kallstrom fizzed a free-kick just past the post, but with neither side able to mount make their pressure pay, stalemate remained at half-time.

Whatever was said at the break had an impact on Portugal who went the closest of either side within four minutes of the restart.

A cross from the left caused chaos as it fell to Fabio Coentrao who touched inside to Helder Postiga. Isaksson came off his line to try and snuff out the danger but Postiga remained in possession and was blocked on the line by Lustig. Ronaldo then swooped on the loose ball but could only hit skywards.

The close shaves continued and a cross from the right - destined for a waiting Ronaldo - was cut out at the near post, while Isaksson was glad to look up from the ground and see the Postiga header he had got nowhere near had flashed over.

Postiga's number was up soon after and Hugo Almeida was sent on in the pursuit of goals, before the local fans became enraged as Ronaldo was booked for what was deemed a late tackle on Isaksson on a follow-through.

Misery turned to joy with eight minutes to go, though, as Ronaldo proved himself the man for the job as his goal put the home side ahead.

Miguel Veloso crossed from the left and, as Isaksson dallied at his near post, Ronaldo got ahead of Martin Olsson to head in, low, from six yards.

A second would have followed but he nodded against the bar, but a rousing ovation at the final whistle showed that his work was sufficient.


PortugalTeam StatisticsSweden
1Goals0
01st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target2
12Shots off Target3
4Blocked Shots1
14Corners4
12Fouls13
3Offsides3
2Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
84.2Passing Success59.2
11Tackles16
81.8Tackles Success68.8
67.6Possession32.4
58.5Territorial Advantage41.5
475Total Passes233
63Total Crosses12
162Lost Balls139
46Recoveries35
65.41st Half Poss.34.6
68.62nd Half Poss.31.4

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Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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