World Cup Qualifying - European - 1st Leg

Portugal 1-0 Sweden

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo (right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring a goal during the World Cup qualifier play-off first leg football match vSweden

Cristiano Ronaldo broke Sweden's resistance late in the game to give Portugal the advantage in their World Cup play-off tie in Lisbon.

The Real Madrid forward got the decisive goal when he stooped low to head in Miguel Veloso's superb cross.

Up until then they were frustrated by a disciplined Sweden side, who went close through Johan Elmander, Sebastian Larsson and Kim Kallstrom.

The second leg will take place at Solna's Friends Arena on Tuesday.

That promises to be another fascinating contest between two sides, with the impetus now on Sweden to attack, having set their stall out to defend for long periods during the first leg.

They did, however, create the better chances in the opening 45 minutes despite Portugal enjoying 67% of the possession.

With Paris St-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic given special attention by Portugal's defence, his attack-minded team-mates found themselves with more space than they should have been afforded.

Norwich's on-loan forward Elmander was first to cause nerves in the home support when he stretched to send Mikael Lustig's right-wing cross inches past the post.

Erik Hamren's men then created two great chances in the space of two minutes. Sunderland's Larsson surged forward from midfield to strike a low shot that Rui Patricio dived to his left to divert, before Kallstrom, winning his 107th cap, smashed an 18-yard free-kick that brushed Portugal's upright.

The home side's best chance of the half came in the first five minutes when Ronaldo and Raul Meireles combined before feeding Joao Moutinho, who drifted round keeper Andreas Isaksson before firing into the side-netting.

Portugal's frustrations continued after the break as Sweden sat deeper, while their coach Paulo Bento probably would have been left exasperated by some of the awful attempted deliveries into the area.

But with eight minutes left one cross led to something greater when Dynamo Kiev's Veloso's fantastic delivery found Ronaldo, who threw himself at the ball to give Portugal the lead.

Moments later, the Real Madrid marksman almost scored his 30th of the season, but saw his header bounce back off the crossbar.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have to be more influential in the second leg for Sweden to reach Brazil

Sweden offered little as an attacking threat after the break, with Ibrahimovic failing to trouble Patricio and his defence. The skipper will have to show the sort of form he has produced for Paris St-Germain this season on Tuesday if Sweden are to stand a chance of going to Brazil.

"We would have been very happy with a draw," Sweden coach Erik Hamren said.

"We played a good game defensively - the goal was unnecessary, we were careless with that cross."

Bento added: "We created a great early chance and Sweden hit back. But in the second half it was one way for us.

"It was an important step to reach the World Cup but not yet decisive."



Formation 4-3-3

  • 12Rui Patrício
  • 21da Silva PereiraBooked at 42mins
  • 5da Silva Coentrão
  • 4Veloso
  • 3Pepe
  • 2Bruno Alves
  • 16MeirelesSubstituted forSoares Pesqueiraat 78'minutes
  • 8João Moutinho
  • 23PostigaSubstituted forPereira de Almeidaat 66'minutes
  • 17Almeida da Cunha
  • 7Cristiano RonaldoBooked at 76mins


  • 1Dos Reis Carvalho
  • 6William Carvalho
  • 9Pereira de Almeida
  • 10Macedo Lopes
  • 11Na Bangna
  • 13Moreira da Costa
  • 14Neto
  • 15Almeida
  • 18Varela
  • 19Antunes
  • 20Soares Pesqueira
  • 22Beto


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Isaksson
  • 2Lustig
  • 5Olsson
  • 6ElmSubstituted forWernbloomat 72'minutes
  • 4Nilsson
  • 13Antonsson
  • 7LarssonBooked at 71mins
  • 9KällströmSubstituted forSvenssonat 77'minutes
  • 10Ibrahimovic
  • 11ElmanderBooked at 77minsSubstituted forGerndtat 88'minutes
  • 19Kacaniklic


  • 3Olsson
  • 8Svensson
  • 12Wiland
  • 14Gerndt
  • 15Granqvist
  • 16Wernbloom
  • 17Bengtsson
  • 18Johansson
  • 20Toivonen
  • 21Durmaz
  • 22Zengin
  • 23Nordfeldt
Nicola Rizzoli

Match Stats

Home TeamPortugalAway TeamSweden
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Portugal 1, Sweden 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Portugal 1, Sweden 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Sweden. Sebastian Larsson tries a through ball, but Alexander Gerndt is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by João Moutinho.

  5. Post update

    Pepe (Portugal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden).

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Sweden. Alexander Gerndt replaces Johan Elmander.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal).

  9. Post update

    Pontus Wernbloom (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Portugal. Conceded by Martin Olsson.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josué (Portugal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  12. Post update

    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) hits the bar with a header from very close range. Assisted by Hugo Almeida with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Sweden. Pontus Wernbloom tries a through ball, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is caught offside.

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Portugal 1, Sweden 0. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Miguel Veloso with a cross.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Portugal. Conceded by Anders Svensson.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nani (Portugal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Nani.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Sweden. Conceded by Miguel Veloso.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Portugal. Josué replaces Raul Meireles.

  20. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

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