Football

World Cup play-off draw

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Can Ronaldo lead Portugal to the World Cup? (©GettyImages)
Can Ronaldo lead Portugal to the World Cup? (©GettyImages).

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal will face Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden in the play-offs for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Portugal finished second in Group F, behind Russia, and will take on Sweden at the Luz Stadium in Lisbon next month.

The first legs will be played on November 15 and the return on November 19.

The two teams have played 15 times- Sweden have won six, Portugal have claimed three victories and six games ended as draws.

But the last time Sweden won against Portugal was in 1984.

Sweden are a team which will give us two very complicated matches, two evenly balanced ones. Although they have one of the best forwards in the world, Sweden are strong collectively," Portugal coach Paulo Bento said.

In the other play-offs, France, who finished second behind Spain in Group H, will play against Ukraine for a place at the World Cup finals.

The last meeting between these two was at last year's Euro finals, which ended with a 2-0 victory for France, after a storm caused the suspension of the match in Donetsk.

In seven games, France have four victories and three draws and will try to continue their unbeaten run against Ukraine.

"Ukraine are a team who do not concede a lot of goals, but it's good we are playing the second leg at home," said France coach Didier Deschamps who was relieved to have avoided Portugal in the draw.

Greece will play with Romania at the play-offs. Greece have been beaten 3-1 by Romania in friendly two years ago, but now look much more solid and will be a tougher opponent.

In the last play-off Croatia will face the surprise package of the group stage- Iceland. The island country managed to win a play-off spot and now will look to continue their fairytale in a bid to qualify for the World Cup finals.

The draw (first-named teams in the list below play their home legs first):

Portugal v Sweden

Ukraine v France

Greece v Romania

Iceland v Croatia

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
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