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Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal qualify while Netherlands crash out

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal qualify while Netherlands crash out

A draw or a loss would have left Portugal in the play-offs but an own goal from Johan Djourou and a goal from Andre Silva took Portugal through.

The match started with Vladimir Petkovic lining up his men in an attacking 4-3-3 formation, however, there was no real quality from either side in the opening exchanges and entertainment was at a premium.

The result meant that both countries finished with 27 points, but Portugal topped the group on account of their superior goal difference.

Ronaldo embarked on a slaloming run across the edge of the Switzerland box and there was fury when referee Cuneyt Cakir remained unmoved as he went to ground under increasingly desperate challenges. "I believed in the players and fortunately they gave me this present".

Portugal were more aggressive after half-time, and on 57 minutes extended their advantage, a lovely move ending with Andre Silva sliding home Bernardo Silva's cross.

Kate Middleton Debuts Baby Bump at First Appearance Since Announcing Her Pregnancy
The statement came earlier than expected because Middleton had to miss out on events she is lined up to attend to take some rest. Kensington Palace shared a photo on Twitter of the trio at a reception "to celebrate those working in the mental health sector".

It was then time for Cakir to make another debatable decision when a Cristiano Ronaldo shot inside the box bounced up off the hand of Ricardo Rodriguez with the defender seemingly knowing what he was doing.

The Swiss had led the group since beating Portugal 2-0 in Basel in their opening match in September previous year and gone on to win all nine matches before Tuesday's encounter in Lisbon, while Portugal had won their subsequent eight. The goalkeeper pushed it onto Djourou, who could do little about the own goal.

Belgium had already secured top spot in Group H but finished off their qualifying campaign in style with a 4-0 win over Cyprus, Eden Hazard bagging two and his brother Thorgen another before Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to score.

First-leg games are played November 9-11.

There are four more European places up for grabs, with eight nations - Sweden, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Greece and Croatia - taking part in two-legged play-offs.


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