UEFA World Cup Qualifier: Portugal Seal World Cup Place
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal beat Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon on Tuesday to earn a place at the 2018 World Cup and consign their opponents to next month’s play-offs.
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 send the European champion through.
In other games Arjen Robben has announced his retirement from the Netherlands after his two goals against Sweden were not enough for the Dutch to qualify for the World Cup.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid winger, 33, steered his side to a 2-0 win against Sweden on Tuesday in what proved to be his final international appearance as they missed out on a play-off place.
The Netherlands needed to win by seven goals to have the chance to reach next year’s World Cup in Russia.
France beat Belarus 2-1 to win Group A.
In Group H, Greece ensured their place in the play-offs with a 4-0 win over Gibraltar.
Belgium had already won that group and thrashed Cyprus 4-0 with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard scoring twice, and further goals from his brother Thorgan and one late on from Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.
The European teams to qualify for the World Cup so far are France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium and Iceland.
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.
Four of the teams will be seeded, and they will be confirmed when the next Fifa world rankings are announced next week.
Slovakia, who finished below England and above Scotland in Group F, are the nation to miss out on the play-offs as they are the second placed side with the worst record.