Portugal, France clinch 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia spots

Satenaw
By Satenaw October 11, 2017 05:22

While Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal beat Switzerland 2-0, Antoine Griezmann’s France won 2-1 against Belarus to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Agence France-Presse, Paris

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with his Portugal teammates after they qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Switzerland.(Reuters)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Antoine Griezmann’s France booked spots at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals on Tuesday while the Netherlands crashed out.

Portugal beat Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon thanks to a Johan Djourou own goal and an Andre Silva strike.

France needed goals from Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in a hard-fought 2-1 win over Belarus at the Stade de France.

READ | Lionel Messi hat-trick takes Argentina to 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

After a stuttering campaign, France’s achievement in beating Bulgaria and Belarus in their final two qualifiers means they avoid the playoffs having had to go through that route for the last two finals.

“We have had a difficult route and tonight wasn’t easy either but we’ve achieved our aim,” coach Didier Deschamps said.

🇫🇷@equipedefrance🇵🇹@selecaoportugal secure places, as Europe’s play-off line-up is confirmed ⚡️👇https://twitter.com/i/moments/917853422833020929 

Embedded image permalink

France, Portugal secure Russia 2018 places

 #WCQ ⚽️🏆  @FIFAWorldCup

France and Portugal clinched their #WorldCup places after finishing top of Group A & B respectively, while Europe’s eight-team play-off line-up was confirmed.

Moments

“We are happy, even if qualifying is logical given the quality of the players I have.”

French relief

Giroud said he was delighted to have avoided the tension of the playoffs.

“We’re all relieved tonight to have ended the campaign with automatic qualification,” the Arsenal forward said.

“We chased this game and it wasn’t easy because they were strong and efficient in attack until the final whistle and we had to roll up our sleeves.”

READ | USA knocked out of 2018 FIFA World Cup after Trinidad defeat, Panama qualify

The Dutch, World Cup finalists in South Africa in 2010 and semi-finalists four years later, bowed to the inevitable as they failed to achieve the unlikely 7-0 scoreline over Sweden they needed to salvage a wretched qualifying effort.

Arjen Robben scored twice in a 2-0 win over the Swedes in Amsterdam and said afterwards he was retiring from international football.

Satenaw
By Satenaw October 11, 2017 05:22
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