Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Portugal and France book places at World Cup

Portugal and France book places at World Cup Portugal and France book places at World Cup
Isaac Mcdaniel | 13 October, 2017, 00:45

The final night of World Cup Qualifying was brought to a conclusion with ultimately comfortable passages through to next year's finals in Russian Federation for both France and Portugal.

European champions Portugal finished top of their group after a 2-0 home win over Switzerland, who will now go to a play-off.

Switzerland will now enter a playoff over two legs with another European group runner-up in November for a place at Russian Federation 2018.

Griezmann opened the scoring and then set up Olivier Giroud before the break while Belarus reduced the arrears on the stroke of halftime through Anton Saroka.

Didier Deschamps's side needed a win to be sure of topping Group A, arriving at Stade de France just a point ahead of Sweden before the final round of games.

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Because of the Swedes' excellent goal difference, Holland must win 7-0 to progress to the play-off round. Robben's first was perhaps the worst chipped "Panenka" penalty you're ever likely to see, but his sorry scuffed strike still found its way into the net.

Missing out on the World Cup caps a remarkable demise for the Netherlands, who were runners-up at the 2010 tournament in South Africa and third in Brazil in 2014.

Striker Kostas Mitroglou scored twice in three minutes just after the hour and substitute Giannis Gianniotas claimed the fourth in the 78th minute. His second, meanwhile, was far crisper; a first-time shot from the edge of the box into the top corner.

Romelu Lukaku, returning from injury, later muscled past Cyprus defender Giorgos Merkis for Belgium's fourth. Hungary host Faroe Islands and Latvia take on Andorra in the group's other encounters.

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