Football

Russia beat Portugal to the punch

Nani and Ronaldo could make-up a strong partnership (©GettyImages)
Nani and Ronaldo could make-up a strong partnership (©GettyImages).

With the 2014 World Cup qualifiers over, nine national teams have already booked a place in Brazil. Soon another four teams will be joining them, making it 13 participants from the European bracket.


Here we look at events from the final day in Group F:

Azerbaijan 1-1 Russia

Russia needed only a single point to secure first place in the group and that’s exactly what they earned.

Shirokov put the Russians in the lead after 16 minutes and all they needed to do at that point was avoid defeat.

Azerbaijan, however, managed to level the score in injury time, even after they were reduced to 10 men, when Medvedev was sent-off.

Israel 1-1 Northern Ireland

In a match where neither team needed a result, third-placed Israel and Northern Ireland shared the spoils.

Eden Ben Basat gave the Israelis the lead just before half time before Northern Ireland managed to get the equaliser after the break thanks to Southampton midfielder Steven Davis.

Portugal 3-0 Luxembourg

Luxembourg were massive underdogs in this match, especially when Joachim was sent-off in the first half.

Portugal instantly exploited their advantage, taking the lead through Varela.

Nani soon extended the lead and Postiga set the final score ten minutes from time.

Portugal finished runners-up behind Russia, and will have to play two more games to secure a spot at the World Cup finals.

Many might have expected a win by a bigger margin, but there’s no doubt that Ronaldo and co will be a difficult opponent for any team in the play-off.

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Topics:
World Cup
Football

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