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World Cup: Portugal, France, Greece and Croatia Make It To Brazil After Night Of Genius And Drama (Photos)

By Alan Duffy

Sweden Portugal Wcup Soccer

Cristiano Ronaldo fired Portugal to Brazil (and most likely himself to a Ballon D’or) courtesy of a magnificent hat-trick against Sweden in Stockholm.

All five goals came in the second half, with the great Zlatan Ibrahimovic bagged a brace himself. But ultimately it was his fellow megastar Ronaldo who would steal the show and give Portugal a deserved 4-2 aggregate win. With Zlatan now 32 we may never get to see him again in World Cup Finals, but for Ronaldo, the stage is set for a big summer in Brazil.

In Paris, Didier Deschamps’ inconsistant French produced a magnificent three-goal performance to overturn Ukraine’s first leg lead. Les Bleus’ hero of the night was, rather surprisingly, Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho who netted a goal in either half. Karim Benzema, who started in place of Oliver Giroud, netted France’s other goal to fire his side to Brazil.

Greece, already 3-1 up from the first-leg, secured a 1-1 draw in Romania to give them a comfortable 4-2 aggregate win. Olympiakos attacker Konstantinos Mitroglou netted for the Greeks on 23 minutes and even an own-goal from Vasilios Torosidis after the break couldn’t kickstart a Romanian revival as the home side deservedly lost out on Brazil.

And finally, goals from Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic and the perenially under-rated Dario Srna gave Croatia a 2-0 aggregate victory over outsiders Iceland in Zagreb. Mandzukic’s goal came in the 27th minutes and the striker was sent off before the break for a bad tackle on Johann Gudmundsson. But despite being a man up in the second-half, the visitors couldn’t break down the Croat defence with Srna’s early goal after the break giving the home side a two-goal cushion.

Photos (There’s feckin’ loads of ’em!)…

Photos: PA

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By Alan Duffy on November 19th, 2013 in International football, Newsnow, World Cup. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “World Cup: Portugal, France, Greece and Croatia Make It To Brazil After Night Of Genius And Drama (Photos)”

  1. bestie says:

    no mention of how blatantly offside Benzema’s goal was?

  2. TravisKOP says:

    Sakho and benzema both scored from an offside position. Greece handballed in the box twice. Fifa should just release a statement saying that only countries that generate revenue will be allowed to advance to the tournament

  3. Amsterdamadrista says:

    You Can Clearly See Platini’s Hand In All of This…Bunch of Frauds.
    I Lost All Sympathy For The French After Henry’s Handball Against Ireland

  4. Joel says:

    ha ha ha.. You obviously failed to mention that the linesman called the first goal by Benzema offside … If your going to complain at least be honest about it. Let me send you some kleenex

  5. squiggle says:

    You lost all sympathy for the French because of something that one person did in one spilt second several years ago?

    Could Platini’s hand also clearly be seen in Ireland’s defeat of Georgia thanks to a handball from Robbie Keane?

  6. Bestie says:

    TravisKOP…I can see your point about France, but how much revenue does generate?

  7. TravisKOP says:

    @Bestie: I assume you were wondering how much revenue Greece generates and my retort would be a feck load more than Romania

  8. Terry Shedingham says:


    Bloody hell, at least get the teams right

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