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WC Qualification Europe

  • November 19, 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Friends Arena, Solna
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 49766
2
FT
3

Portugal win Aggregate 4 - 2

Sweden-Portugal Preview: Seleccao out to protect one-goal advantage in Solna

Sweden-Portugal Preview: Seleccao out to protect one-goal advantage in Solna

JONAS EKSTROMER/AFP/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the first leg in Lisbon, meaning the hosts simply have to score if they are to have any hope of travelling to Brazil next summer

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Sweden have Portugal's "measure" ahead of Tuesday's World Cup play-off second leg.

Erik Hamren's charges looked set to claim a goalless draw in Friday's first leg in Lisbon, but were consigned to defeat in the 82nd minute as Cristiano Ronaldo stooped to head home Miguel Veloso's pin-point centre and hand the Seleccao a slender 1-0 lead.

It means Sweden face an uphill battle to secure their place in Brazil, with a two-goal cushion required at the Friends Arena in Solna to guarantee their progression.

The talk before the first encounter between the two sides was largely dominated by which Ballon d'Or candidate, Ibrahimovic or Cristiano Ronaldo, would shine brightest. However, both players were largely marginalised, until Ronaldo's late intervention.

At 32, the 2014 World Cup could present Ibrahimovic's last chance to appear at the biggest tournament in world football and the Paris Saint-Germain forward is confident Sweden can overcome the deficit if the fans really get behind them.

"We've got the measure of them now, and that's an advantage," the forward said. "It's the last game before the World Cup now. Get behind us and we'll make it."

Hamren is expected to name a similar side to the one that started the first leg, as Sweden look to return to the the game's grandest stage after missing out on South Africa 2010.

Friday's victory was Portugal's first over Sweden on home soil and they will be confident of appearing in their fourth straight finals.

Coach Paulo Bento welcomed Ronaldo and Pepe back to training on Sunday, after sitting out Saturday's session as a precaution.

If Portugal do qualify for the tournament, it would mark the second consecutive time the play-offs have provided their route, after a 2-0 aggregate victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2009 ensured their place in South Africa.

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.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Sweden

Portugal

Wins
0
3
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Sweden SWE
Sweden Sweden
Draw
Portugal PRT
Portugal Portugal
31%
17%
52%

Top 3 Predictions

Sweden SWE
1 - 2
Portugal PRT
Sweden SWE
1 - 1
Portugal PRT
Sweden SWE
2 - 0
Portugal PRT

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