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November 19, 2013
• Friends Arena, Solna
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 49766
Z. Ibrahimovic 68', 72'
Portugal win Aggregate 4 - 2
Cristiano Ronaldo 50', 77', 79'
Anyway, that's all from me for tonight guys and girls, I hope you enjoyed that game as much as I did! Good night.
FULL-TIME: SWEDEN 2-3 PORTUGAL (2-4 ON AGG) An outstanding performance from Ronaldo saw off the challenge of Sweden in Solna, as the Madrid man scored a fantastic hat-trick in a 3-2 victory. Ibrahimovic struck twice for the hosts after the break, but that was not enough to drag his side through, as Bento's side triumphed 4-2 on aggregate to seal their spot at next summer's World Cup.
That Ronaldo's a bit good, isn't he? The Portugal forward scored all four of his side's goals over the two legs to ensure they are in the draw for the group stages of the 2014 World Cup. He was truly unstoppable tonight!
90' + 5'
And there is the final whistle! Portugal have booked their place at the 2014 World Cup with a win in Solna!
90' + 3'
Ronaldo flicks a nonchalant effort just wide from the edge of the box after controlling a high ball from the left. Isaksson was quick off his line which seemed to put the Portugal man off as he came within inches of becoming his country's all-time leading goalscorer.
90' + 1'
Moutinho thinks he has won a corner for the visitors over on the right, but the linesman thinks otherwise and awards a goal kick to Hamren's men.
FIVE MINUTES OF ADDED TIME... Surely Sweden can't score three in that time?
With just minutes left to play Bento's side have one foot on the plane to Rio...
Ronaldo teases Nilsson with the ball as he thunders towards goal and he nearly catches Isaksson out with an early effort from distance, but the ball bounces just wide of the right-hand post.
Patricio gathers a cross from Olsson easily under little to no pressure from Sweden's frontline. What a blow that quick-fire double from Ronaldo was to the hosts' hopes of turning this play-off round!
Yellow CardMikael Antonsson
ELMANDER FLASHES A SHOT OVER!! Ibra cushions the ball into the path of his strike-partner inside the box, but the Norwich City forward's shot on the spin is wayward, and it crashes into the crowd rather than the back of the net.
It was Moutinho that provided the assist for that latest Portugal goal, which means he has two for the evening. It has been a masterclass from the Monaco man in midfield tonight.
STAT: Ronaldo's hat-trick this evening means he is Portugal's joint all-time top goalscorer, alongside Pauleta on 47 goals for the Seleccao.
AND THERE IS A HAT-TRICK FOR RONALDO!! If the game wasn't over a moment ago, it certainly is now. The attacker's movement is superb again as he holds his run before latching on to a pass from midfield, pushing the ball wide past Isaksson and flicking a shot into the net off the crossbar.
SURELY THAT'S GAME OVER? MARVELLOUS FROM RONALDO!! Even Ibrahimovic enjoyed that. Portugal broke on the counterattack and again it was Ronaldo that fired the ball past Isaksson. The Madrid frontman timed his run to perfection to stay onside and race onto a well-aimed pass from Almeida, before flying into the box and hammering a left foot shot past Isaksson.
HEAVY TOUCH FROM KACANIKLIC! The Swedish left winger's control lets him down as a deep cross from the right finds him at the back post. If he had kept his composure there he would have had a chance to shoot at goal!
Here we go! 17 minutes left in Solna. Sweden need one more to go through, with the aggregate score tied at 2-2. Portugal lead at present, having scored what could be a crucial away goal.
WHAT A STRIKE FROM ZLATAN!! Sweden's main man puts the hosts ahead with a phenomenal free kick from the edge of the box. The ball whistled past the wall and into the bottom left corner to give Patricio no chance.
IBRA WILL FANCY THIS! The Swedish striker lines up a free kick 20 yards out after being fouled by Alves...
GREAT DECISION FROM WEBB! The English referee shows Kallstrom a yellow card after the midfielder collapses to the floor inside the box, despite there being no contact from Pereira. Good call from Mr Webb.
Yellow CardKim Källström
Well that makes the last 20 minutes interesting! 1-1 is the scoreline in Solna. Sweden still need two more goals here to have any hope of booking their place in Brazil though!
IBRAHIMOVIC DRAWS SWEDEN LEVEL IN THIS LEG! The imposing attacker holds off a challenge from Alves brilliantly to flick a Kallstrom corner from the left past Patricio and into the bottom corner.
Chalk flies on the left wing as Ronaldo sprints down the line past two or three challenges, but his surging run is brought to an end by some dogged defending from the 37-year-old Svensson.
Almeida holds the ball up superbly on the halfway line for Portugal and brings Antunes into play on the left. The striker then busts a gut to support the attack and somehow finds hidden reserves to soar into the air and nod a header just wide.
A curling cross from Nani is picked off by Nilsson and Sweden are able to clear their ranks.
Ronaldo crumples to the deck after sending a super back heel into the path of the overlapping Antunes on the left side of the Sweden box. Despite his protests at the challenge from Kallstrom, all Portugal get is a corner after Antunes' cross cannoned behind off the legs of Antonsson.
Yellow CardAnders Svensson
Webb gifts Portugal a free kick after what looked like a fair challenge from Ibrahimovic on Alves. The defender acrobatically scissor-kicked the ball upfield under pressure from Ibrahimovic, but the striker had every right to go for that ball.
Kacaniklic wins a corner off the legs of Alves, but Sweden fail to test Patricio from the set piece as Pepe heads the ball away quite comfortably from his position on the penalty spot.
The hosts are overloading the Portugal box as they go in desperate search of goals here, but the visitors are defending superbly at present.
If only Sweden had two Ibrahimovics! The mercurial Swede barges his way past Antunes and lifts a cross into the Portugal box, but there are no yellow shirts attacking the ball and Pereira is able to clear the ball away.
Despite that it is Portugal that fashion the game's latest chance. Ronaldo carves a pocket of space for himself 30 yards out and lashes a shot goalwards but it flies a couple of yards wide of Isaksson's left-hand post.
Yellow CardMartin Olsson
Huge pressure on Hamren and Sweden now! Portugal lead 2-0 on aggregate and now have an away goal to their bow. The hosts need three goals to have any hope of qualifying for next summer's World Cup.
Coentrao has picked up a knock for Portugal and is going to be replaced by Antunes. The Real Madrid full-back is being stretchered off by the Portugal physio team. He looks in a fair amount of pain there.
GOALLLL!! RONALDO PUTS PORTUGAL AHEAD!! The Seleccao star races on to a divine throughball from the outside of Moutinho's right boot before bursting into the box and lifting a classy finish over the onrushing Isaksson with his left foot.
LARSSON MIGHT RUE THAT MISS! The Sweden midfielder takes a touch to control a cross from Ibra 10 yards out when he should shoot first-time. He gets a shot away under pressure from Pepe, but Patricio is able to parry the ball away from danger. What a chance for the hosts!
ISAKSSON SAVES FROM RONALDO... but the flag is up for offside anyway! Coentrao flicks the ball into his captain's path on the left side of the penalty area, but the Sweden defence have stepped up well to catch Ronaldo and Almeida offside.
Ibrahimovic is having a few words with Webb after Portugal are awarded a free kick for a fairly nothing challenge by Elmander on Alves. The Sweden captain is sticking up for his strike-partner and rightly so, that was not a foul.
And on comes the evergreen Andres Svensson to aid Sweden's attack in this second half. He replaces the fairly ineffective Rasmus Elm. What a fairytale it would be if Svensson had an impact this evening – this could well be the 37-year-old's last appearance for his country.
Sweden get the second half underway in Solna...
The stand-out chance of the half, however, fell to the Portugal centre-back Bruno Alves. The Fener defender hung in the air to meet a Moutinho cross from the right, but his bouncing header was tipped round the post brilliantly by Isaksson.
Ronaldo had a trio of half-chances in the latter stages of the half, missing the target twice and forcing Isaksson into a smart stop low to his right. Zlatan, meanwhile, has been forced to drop deep to see the ball for the home team, and only got his first sight of goal on the brink of half-time when he smashed a close-range volley high over Patricio's crossbar.
HALF-TIME: SWEDEN 0-0 PORTUGAL A tense first-half in Solna has offered few clearcut chances for either side, which leaves Hamren with some tinkering to do in the next half an hour or so. Ronaldo's header late in the first leg continues to separate the two teams and should the score stay the same at the Friends Arena it will be Bento's side that seal a place in next summer's World Cup in Brazil.
45' + 1'
And there is the half-time whistle! It's all square at the break in this second leg in Solna.
The Sunderland midfielder's cross is much better than his previous attempts, and though Ronaldo wins the initial header the ball falls to Zlatan on the penalty spot... The PSG star cannot test Patricio on the volley though, as his effort flashes over the crossbar. In fairness to him the ball was falling awkardly for him.
The hosts have a corner on the left late in the half. Pressure on Larsson to produce a good delivery here...
Sweden fans chant "Messi! Messi!" after Ronaldo fires a shot high into the sky after more decent play down the right by Portugal. The Seleccao captain looks to have turned his ankle while shooting there, and he is wincing as play continues around him.
THAT'S A SWEET STRIKE FROM KALLSTROM! Ibrahimovic controls the ball supremely with his chest and nonchalantly tees Kallstrom up 30 yards from goal, but his well-struck effort is gathered dramatically by Patricio.
Sweden were furious that play was allowed to continue as Ronaldo set Almeida up for that chance, with Elmander down injured inside the Portugal half following a clash with Pepe. Webb was right to wave play on though – it was not a head injury and it was not a foul from Pepe. Elmander looks fine now too.
ALMEIDA HAS TO SCORE!! The late inclusion to the Portugal line-up has a glorious chance to put his side one-up away from home, but his headed effort drifts the wrong side of the post. Ronaldo had done brilliantly to dink a cross to him at the back post, but Almeida did not make the most of the opportunity.
It's been all Ronaldo/Portugal in the last five minutes in Solna. He has had three chances in quick succession, but is yet to make his presence felt on the scoresheet.
AND NOW RONALDO SHOOTS OVER!! Pereira hurtles down the right and swings a cross to Ronaldo, who is lurking near the penalty spot, but the Madeira-born striker cannot divert the ball into the top corner as his clipped half volley flies over the bar.
GREAT PLAY FROM RONNIE! The Portugal attacker plucks the ball from the sky on the right with deft piece of control, before bustling past Olsson and unleashing a low drive at goal. Isaksson is equal to it though, as he dives to his left to gather the ball.
RONALDO HEADS WIDE! The Real Madrid star nods an effort a yard or so wide after rising above Antonsson to meet Moutinho's corner from the right.
Ronaldo slaps Larsson in the back of the head as they challenge for the ball, before inexplicably throwing himself to the floor in search of a free kick. Webb, quite rightly, is having absolutely none of that.
Pepe and Alves are marshalling their box well in Solna. Neither Elmander or Ibrahimovic have really had a sniff at goal in the opening half hour of this play-off second leg.
VITAL PINCH FROM NILSSON! Portugal counterattack at blistering pace through Nani and Ronaldo, but the latter loses possession as he thunders into the Sweden box, due to a well-timed interception by Nilsson.
GREAT SKILL FROM ZLATAN! The hosts' captain is having to drop deeper and deeper to get the ball, but it proves fruitful on this occasion as he chops the ball past Veloso and draws a foul 45 yards from the Portugal goal.
Kacaniklic's cross should be better! The Sweden midfielder has a chance to pick out a team-mate after a well-worked move on the left, but his pass is easily headed away by Pepe.
Lustig fouls Coentrao, not once but twice, and Portugal have a free kick just inside their own half in front of the two technical areas.
STAT: The last time Portugal defeated their opponents in Sweden came in October 2002 as an 89th-minute strike from Rui Costa settled a friendly 3-2 in their favour.
STRONG TACKLING FROM MOUTINHO! The Monaco midfielder clatters into Ibrahimovic (rather him than me), and though the Sweden captain looks appealingly to Webb for a free kick, the English referee waves play on.
And now Ronaldo misses the target by some distance! The Portugal captain flicks the ball past Antonsson on the right before rifling a shot behind, when he really should have crossed to a team-mate. It was a very tight angle to try a potshot at goal.
That is shocking from Nani! The Manchester United winger sends a speculative effort about 30 yards over the crossbar after cutting in from the right-hand side. Bento on the Portugal bench shook his head as the ball sailed into the crowd.
The home team's fans are doing their bit to try and put off Bento's men, by incessantly whistling and booing any Portugal player that has the audacity to take a throw-in.
Nani fizzes a cross in from the right that is dealt with well by the combined efforts of Nilsson and Olsson. Sweden have been alert to the threat of Ronaldo and Nani in the last few minutes.
So the first real chance of the game falls to the head of Bruno Alves. The Fenerbahce defender is in a rich vein of form in front of goal, having scored four times in the Seleccao's 10 World Cup qualification games.
GREAT SAVE FROM ISAKSSON!! The Sweden goalkeeper adjusts his body brilliantly in mid-air to tip a header from Alves round the post, after the centre-back had connected well with a Moutinho free kick from the right.
A wayward clearance from Andreas Isaksson unsettles Mikael Antonsson and Olsson on the left side of the Sweden defence, with the latter only able to hack the ball out for a Portugal throw.
Pepe rises high above Ibrahimovic to nod the ball away from danger on the edge of his own box, after the PSG man had looked to latch on to a lofted throughball from Kallstrom.
STAT: After that first leg, both Zlatan and Ronaldo are now three goals behind their country's record goalscorer. Ronaldo is closing in on Pauleta's record, while Ibrahimovic has Sven Rydell's haul firmly in his sights.
The hosts, despite their poorly-placed set pieces, have started the game brighter than their Iberian opponents. Hamren will be encouraged by the amount Zlatan has seen the ball in the opening exchanges, after he was stifled rather effectively by Pepe and Bruno Alves in the first leg on Friday.
Sweden have had two early chances from set pieces but they have wasted both with poor deliveries. First it was Larsson, and now Kallstrom is the culprit. The experienced midfielder flights a free kick from the right way over the heads of every yellow shirt in Patricio's box and the ball bounces out for a throw.
The pitch undermines a decent attack for Sweden as a return pass from Zlatan towards Kacaniklic hits a bobble and bounces behind for a Portugal goal kick, just as the winger tried to swing a cross towards Elmander in the penalty area.
Norwich City and Monaco meet for the first time in years as Olsson collides with Moutinho on the far side. The coming together results in a free kick for Hamren's men.
Martin Olsson wanders forward from left-back for the hosts and wins a corner off the legs of Joao Pereira. The set piece is wasted by Larsson though, as his driven pass towards the edge of the box is picked off by Joao Moutinho.
Bento's side quickly try and find Ronaldo on the left-hand side only for play to be pulled back for offside. The Madrid attacker had controlled the ball deliciously with the outside of his right foot and looked to have got the wrong side of Mikael Lustig there.
Almeida, wearing some questionable red tights underneath his Portugal kit, gets the game underway by teeing the ball off to Nani.
You might think that being a mascot this evening would be fairly exciting for the young boys and girls at the Friends Arena – yet one of them has just stifled a yawn!
The teams are out at the Friends Arena in Solna and just the two sides' national anthems stand between us and kick-off!
Howard Webb is the man in the middle keeping the peace this evening. Larsson has welcomed the Englishman's involvement tonight, while the Portuguese press have highlighted the fact he booked Ronaldo for diving while the pacey attacker plied his trade in the Premier League.
STAT: Ibrahimovic has a slightly superior strike rate to Ronaldo at international level, having scored 0.48 goals per game, notching 46 in 95 appearances. Ronaldo, meanwhile, has scored 0.4 goals per game, finding the net 44 times in 108 appearances.
The Madrid man said the play-off is 50-50 going into this second leg, while Zlatan told a Swedish journalist that "only God knows how it will end" – before going on to imply that he himself was God...
The first leg was billed as a battle between two giants, Ronaldo vs Ibra, and it is difficult to venture away from that narrative tonight. Both have been at the top of their game this season for their respective clubs, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, but it took 82 minutes before either had much of a say on Friday – and on that occasion it was Ronaldo.
PORTUGAL TEAM NEWS: There was a late change to the Seleccao teamsheet this evening as Helder Postiga withdrew through injury. Hugo Almeida replaces the former Spurs man upfront for Bento's side. He will be flanked by the enticing pair of Nani and Ronaldo.
SWEDEN TEAM NEWS: Erik Hamren names an unchanged side from the one that succumbed to a late header from Ronaldo in Lisbon, as Johan Elmander partners Ibrahimovic in attack. Kim Kallstrom and Rasmus Elm start in central midfield for the hosts, while Alexander Kacaniklic and Sebastian Larsson will attack down the wings.
PORTUGAL (4-3-3): Patricio; Pereira, Alves, Pepe, Coentrao; Veloso, Meireles, Moutinho; Nani, Almeida, Ronaldo
SWEDEN (4-4-2): Isaksson; Lustig, Nilsson, Antonsson, Olsson; Larsson, Elm, Kallstrom, Kacaniklic; Elmander, Ibrahimovic
Without further ado, let's see if either coach has made changes from the two starting XIs that battled it out in Portugal last week...
My name is Charlie Scott, by the way, and I'm the man tasked with guiding you through this evening's action from the Friends Arena in Solna, as Sweden and Portugal battle it out for a place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The team they face, Portugal, will be doing their best to see off the threat of Zlatan & co, having triumphed 1-0 in the first leg on Friday. In Cristiano Ronaldo the Seleccao have arguably the planet's most in-form player, and it was the Real Madrid star that proved the difference in the play-off first leg in Lisbon. With just eight minutes of normal time remaining, he scored a stunning diving header to give Paulo Bento's side their slender one-goal lead going into tonight's game.
The Swedes, led by the brilliant Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will be well aware that to have any chance of sealing one of the final spots at the World Cup next summer, their shots need to be on target this evening.
I'm reliably told that is an ancient Swedish proverb.
Nära skjuter ingen hare - A close shot will never get you the rabbit.
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