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November 15, 2013
• Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
Referee: N. Rizzoli
• Attendance: 61467
Cristiano Ronaldo 82'
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this evening. Have a great night.
FULL TIME - Portugal 1-0 Sweden: The Seleccao take the lead in the World Cup play-off thanks to a late goal from Ronaldo. The Blagult had frustrated their hosts for much of the game, but were unable to maintain that for the full 90 minutes. They are by no means out of this one, though, and the second leg will surely provide an intriguing game.
90' + 3'
The final whistle goes!
90' + 2'
Olsson again does enough to stop Ronaldo from connecting with a cross into the area at the back post. He even manages to draw a foul from the Portuguese to relieve some of the late pressure on his side.
90' + 1'
We are into the first of three additional minutes.
OVER THE TOP! Ronaldo again gets himself into a great position at the top of the box and he lashes a shot at goal after Moutinho's cushioned touch. It was nowhere near though, and probably went wide of the target too!
Olsson does just enough to stop Nani from getting in around the back and connecting with Josue's clever ball over the top of the defence. Sweden really are hanging on now after looking so assured earlier on in the game.
OFF THE BAR!! Ronaldo almost grabs a second as he leaps to get on the end of Almeida's cross, only to be denied by the woodwork. That certainly would have put the game to bed.
Sweden will surely just try to see the game out as things stand, and possibly try to catch Portugal on the break. The last thing they will want to do is overcommit and concede another goal.
Assist Miguel Veloso
Goal C. Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOAAAL!! The deadlock is finally broken! Ronaldo's quality finally tells as he darts in front of Nilsson to send a diving header past Isaksson from Veloso's cross. What a time to score, and he is absolutely delighted!
CLAIMS FOR A PENALTY! Elmander knocks the ball past Pereira and falls to ground inside the box under a challenge from the right-back. Nothing is given by the referee, though, and so play continues.
Bento takes off Meireles, who has arguably been one of Portugal's best players this evening, and introduces Josue. The Seleccao have seemed bereft of creativity in this half and have struggled for ideas up against this stoic Sweden side.
Yellow Card Johan Elmander
Yellow Card C. Ronaldo
Isaksson is down following a collision with Ronaldo. The referee was of the opinion that the needless challenge deserved a booking. The Real Madrid man's frustrations are clearly mounting in the closing stages.
Ronaldo deflects a shot from Meireles on goal but we his well and truly offside. A replay shows him jutting his head at Lustig in the aftermath and he may be lucky that the officials did not see that one!
Ronaldo tries a clever backheel inside the area but Kallstrom races in and absolutely smashes the ball high into the stands to well and truly clear the danger away. Sweden starting to cling to this one now.
What a waste. The free kick is taking short and Ronaldo attempts to pump an effort on goal from an impossible angle. The Seleccao would have been better putting that in the box for him to try and win a header.
Yellow Card Sebastian Larsson
Some more fantastic attacking play from Coentrao sees him again get the better of Larsson on the near side. The midfielder gives him a nudge and earns a booking for the foul, which takes place just outside the area.
Good hands from Rui Patricio! Kallstrom sent a great cross into the box there and Elmander was completely unmarked. Had the keeper not come to collect that then he could well have been picking the ball out the back of his net.
GOOD SAVE! Nani cuts in from the right and fires a low show that skids along the floor towards Isaksson's near post. The keeper gets down to it an dmanages to hold the effort despite it taking an awkward bounce just before reaching him.
Is this the first time I've mentioned Ibrahimovic this half? Well, the striker got the ball on the edge of the box but was unable to find a route through a swarm of red shirts. His involvement has been minimal tonight.
Bento replaces Postiga with Hugo Almeida now. The coach clearly wants someone with more of a physical presence in the box for those crosses.
Sweden have barely seen the ball in this half and Portugal are in complete control at the moment. The middle of the pitch is just far too congested though and they have been unable to create enough chances to test Isaksson.
CLOSE! The corner is met by Postiga at the near post and he brilliantly angles a header towards the target. Isaksson flings an arm at it but it fails to dip and work the keeper.
WHAT AN INTERCEPTION!! Antonsson is again positioned brilliantly to divert Moutinho's cross behind for a corner. Ronaldo was primed and ready to convert that from inside the six-yard box.
OVER THE TOP!! A Portuguese attack comes to a dead end with Postiga at the byeline so he rolls the ball back to Coentrao. The left-back in turn finds Meireles 25 yards out and his effort on goal flies over the goal without worrying Isaksson.
Pereira again gets forward on the right but once more his cross goes straight behind for a goal kick. His attacking has been impressive but his delivery just hasn't been up to scratch. Portugal looking rather blunt in the final third at the moment.
Lustig again back to cover! His first touch may have been poor, but Coentrao had got in behind Larsson and looked sure to work the keeper. His second touch gave Lustig enough time to chase back and clear it for a corner, though.
Moutinho fizzes a great cross into the box from the right but the movement of the Portuguese players in the area is practically non-existent. They showed no effort to get on the end of that.
Finally Nani does something! He has switched flanks with Ronaldo so he has to glide past Lustig in order to get his cross into the area. He fires it in low and hard but Nilsson positions himself to ensure the cross is sent behind.
STAT: Between them, Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo have netted a staggering 513 league and Champions League goals since the 2004-05 season. The Portuguese leads the way by some distance, though, having notched 304 to the Swede’s 209. No sign of such prowess in front of goal from either tonight, though.
WHAT A CHANCE! How have Portugal not put that in! Alves curls a great ball towards the back post but Pepe's touch is poor. Isaksson attempts to mop up but punches the ball straight at Postiga and it bounces goalwards. Fortunately for the keeper Lustig comes across to cover and clear the danger, with a little help from Pepe's face!
OVER THE TOP! Antonsson's attempt to head the ball clear ricochets off Nani and bounces at the feet of Postiga. The striker powers a shot at goal but it is always rising and sails harmlessly over the bar.
We are back underway!
Welcome back! The teams are back out on the pitch and the second half will be upon us shortly.
HALF TIME - Portugal 0-0 Sweden: The Seleccao may have dominated possession but it is the Blagult who have looked like the more threatening side. Paulo Bento's men have seen cross after cross repelled by the compact and stout Swedish defensive unit. The roles of Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo have been subdued, but hopefully we will see more from them in the second half. Be sure to join me for it.
45' + 1'
Only a few seconds of stoppage time are played before the half time whistle is blown!
Finally the Seleccao manage to get an effort on target following a cross into the area, but Pepe fails to send his header either side of Isaksson.
WASTED! Larsson curls the ball high and wide and Ibrahimovic throws him a look of anger. He is not a man you want to disappoint on the football pitch.
Yellow Card João Pereira
Pereira picks up the first booking of the game as he fells Kacanikilic wide on the Portuguese right. Poor challenge from the full back.
Great covering from Antonsson! Nani plays a great pass into Postiga and the striker's first touch takes him well away from Nilsson. He would have been able to pull the trigger had Antonsson not positioned himself excellently to slide in and take the ball.
Sweden have been extremely well-organised so far tonight. They may have afforded Portugal too much space in the wide areas but the consistently have enough bodies in the box capable of being first to any cross. The Seleccao may need to vary their play if they are to find a way through their opponents.
No need for that from Veloso! He snaps at Ibrahimovic's heels extremely late, and it was right on the half-way line. A stupid challenge to make from the midfielder.
Awful dive from Nani! The winger flings himself to the ground after lifting the ball over the head of Olsson. He may not have got on the end of it, but that was just shameless.
A free kick is whipped in from the left for Sweden but Portugal clear and look to counter immediately. However, once up the other end, Ronaldo plays a sloppy pass and the attack breaks down. Both he and Ibrahimovic yet to really showcase their full ability tonight.
Moutinho and Pereira combine well down the right and the latter stands the ball up at the back post. He perhaps puts it a bit too deep but Larsson tracks back to send it behind and stop Nani from attempting to turn it on goal.
STAT: Ibrahimovic has scored 46 times for Sweden at a rate of 0.49 goals per match. Ronaldo, meanwhile, has mustered 43 goals, meaning his ratio stands at 0.40 per game.
Brilliant! Coentrao rolls his foot over the ball before playing it through the legs of Larsson. The Sunderland man shows enough strength to stop the left-back from continuing on with possession on the other side, though.
Kacanikilic puts the ball out of play after Moutinho gails to get up following a coming together with Kallstrom. There was nothing in that at all.
That is a great dink from Moutinho, but Lustig heads the ball behind for a corner. Portugal will need to make these chances tell soon.
Portugal are getting plenty of balls into the box from wide areas but the quality needs to be stepped up a notch. Nani is the next player to see his cross repelled, with Isaksson leaving his line to punch the ball out of the danger area.
JUST WIDE!! It was Kallstrom who struck it in the end, and the midfielder curled the ball just the wrong side of Rui Patricio's post.
Postiga concedes a free kick inside the D as he catches Nilsson. Ibrahimovic, please stand up...
WHAT A SAVE! Elmander cuts a brilliant ball back into the area from the corner flag and Ibrahimovic shows supreme intelligence and awareness to dummy it, leaving it for Larsson. The midfielder strikes it well but Rui Patricio gets down to parry the effort aside.
Pereira continues his strong start to the game, beating Kacanikilic by the touchline and whipping in a decent delivery which Antonsson nods behind. The corner is only cleared as far as Veloso, who volleys well wide of the target from 25 yards.
Straight into the wall from Ronaldo. Oh dear.
A free kick for Portugal in a dangerous area which Ronaldo will fancy. He won that one following a rash challenge from Elm. Literally seconds before Kacanikilic had been through on goal at the other end but received no support.
Here is Postiga, trying to bulldoze his way into the box but coming up against a yellow wall. Sweden manage to hack the ball away,though, and the chance to shoot evaporates.
We are yet to see much from Helder Postiga tonight, but the visitors will still need to keep a close watch on the striker. He is the Seleccao's highest scoring player in qualifying so far, with six strikes to his name.
Ronaldo drifts inside and attempts to kick-start a move for his side, sliding the ball out to that man Pereira on the right. The full back tries to thread a low cross into the box but it takes a deflection and Isaksson can collect it simply.
Pereira is again forward and finding plenty of space on the near side, but he fails to stay onside as he receives the ball from the middle. He was looking along the line there and should not have strayed.
That is good defending from Coentrao, getting in between Elmander and the ball as the striker tried to counter. In his desperation to regain possession the Swede committed a foul on the left-back.
The Blagult seem to be setting Pepe's nerves jangling early on! They earn a corner following some poor defensive play but as the ball comes out to Olsson he fires a shot well wide of the target.
What a response from Sweden! Lustig bursts forward down the right and bends a great cross into the area which Elmander dives to get on the end of. Pepe is nowhere near him and fortunately for the centre-back he sees the Swede's effort shade the outside of the post.
WHAT A CHANCE!! Sweden are completely carved apart as Ronaldo rolls the ball inside to Meiereles and the former Chelsea man sends a crisp first-time pass into Moutinho at the top of the box. The midfielder rounds the keeper but can only find the side neetting from an acute angle.
A good leap from Ronaldo there, but he is unable to connect with Pereira's deflected cross from wide on the right. This is a very bright start from the Seleccao.
Sweden look to be setting up with five across the middle when Portugal hold possession, with Elmander dropping into midfield. They press the hosts quickly but Larsson concedes a free kick for being too rough with Coentrao.
That is brilliant from Ronaldo! His sublime flick plays Coentrao in at the byeline but his cutback misses all of him team-mates. From the other side Moutinho pings the ball back across the box but, again, no one gambles to get on the end of it.
We are underway in Lisbon!
The pre-match formalities are all but over and kick off will be upon us imminently.
What a noise! The whole stadium joins to sing the Portuguese national anthem as one. It is only surpassed in impressiveness by the beard of Raul Meireles!
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch with a crowd of just over 61,000 greeting them. We should be in store for an absolute cracker tonight.
Both Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic are on the brink of becoming the highest-scoring players in the history of their respective nations. The Portuguese needs four goals to equal Pauleta's current all-time record of 47 strikes for the Seleccao, while the towering Swede needs the same amount to surpass the current record of 49 goals held by Sven Rydell.
Sweden have only lost three times in 15 meetings with Portugal, but their last three encounters have ended in draws. The Seleccao are in good form, though, and are unbeaten in their last seven outings.
Ronaldo returns from suspension for the hosts while Danny is out due to injury. The Real Madrid forward may well fancy his chances up against a side which have already conceded 14 goals in qualifying.
Sweden (4-2-3-1): Isaksson; Lustig, Antonsson, Nilsson, Olsson; Elm, Kallstrom; Larsson, Ibrahimovic, Kacanikilic; Elmander.
Portugal (4-3-3): Rui Patricio; Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao; Moutinho, Veloso, Meireles; Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo.
A place in Brazil for next year's edition of the greatest competition in football is at stake. Unfortunately either Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic will not be present for it, but they will no doubt be doing their utmost to ensure they don't miss out. But lets find out who the other 20 players taking to the field tonight are, as I'm sure that is still of significant importance!
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of tonight's World Cup play-off first leg between Portugal and Sweden. The Estadio da Luz in Lisbon is our venue this evening for a fixture which pits two of the greatest players in world football head to head: Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. My name is Tom Webber and I will be guiding you through all the action this evening.
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