Cristiano Ronaldo leads Portugal to Russian Federation and France top Group A

Cheryl Sanders
October 11, 2017

European champions Portugal secured their World Cup spot with a 2-0 win over Switzerland thanks to Johan Djourou's own goal and Andre Silva's 11th in 10 games.

The hosts go into the game three points behind Switzerland but can snatch top spot with a win as they have a better goal difference.

An own-goal by Swiss defender Johan Djourou before halftime and a goal by forward by Andre Silva early in the second half were enough to give Portugal its ninth straight victory since an opening 2-0 loss to the Swiss in Basel a year ago.

The Swiss defeated Portugal at home on the first matchday, while Cristiano Ronaldo was injured, and both teams won their next eight games in a row.

That the Manchester City playmaker has not been an automatic choice at club level since switching to the Premier League was scarcely evident as he performed at the heart of Portugal's brightest moments, including Andre Silva's qualification-sealing second.

But AC Milan striker Andre Silva forced Yann Sommer into a smart early save from his deflected shot, with the Swiss goalkeeper then forced to make a terrific stop to tip over Bernardo Silva's venomous effort.

Eliseu clipped a low cross into a risky area at the near post where Joao Mario and Sommer lunged towards the ball.

The decisive moment was, sadly for Switzerland, an own goal.

Portugal seemed intent on settling the issue during the opening exchanges of the second half and Djourou hurled himself in the way of a rasping Ronaldo drive from 25 yards.

And in the 57th minute Portugal cemented their place in Russian Federation when Bernardo Silva sent a pass through the six-yard box that Andre Silva controlled before putting the ball into the net.

Xherdan Shaqiri drove at a retreating Portugal backline and his thudding shot was nearly touched in by an alert Seferovic in the 67th minute.

Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers Fernando Santos or Vladimir Petkovic?

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