Portugal, France book world cup seats, Holland crash out

Portugal and France on Tuesday booked their place in the finals of the 2018 world cup scheduled for Russia.

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.

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.

France also clinched qualification for the World Cup thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in a hard-fought 2-1 win over Belarus on Tuesday.

Didier Deschamps’ side successfully completed their challenge of beating Bulgaria and Belarus in their final two qualifiers.

See also  Enugu Rangers clinch NPFL title after eight-year wait

The victory meant they avoided the tension of the play-offs which they had to endure to reach the last two finals.

Holland, who also failed to qualify for the last European Championships, had to beat Sweden by seven goals to finish behind France in the runners-up spot but they could only manage a 2-0 win against the Swedes, who will head to the play-offs.

The unthinkable looked more possible when Arjen Robben scored from the penalty spot after 16 minutes but the Bayern Munich winger’s second strike just before half-time was the only other goal of the game.

With Agency report