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Portugal ease Sweden out of play-off picture

14 October 2009 23:00

GUIMARAES, Portugal (AFP) - Portugal rescued an unconvincing World Cup 2010 qualifying campaign by securing a play-off place with a 4-0 victory over Malta here on Wednesday.

Carlos Queiroz's side prevailed thanks to goals from Nani, Simao, Miguel and Edinho to finish second in Group 1 ahead of Sweden, who missed out on qualification despite beating Albania 4-1.

Queiroz said: "For sure some points lost at home made life difficult for us but the important thing is that we made it and now we have to prepare for these two finals."

Reflecting on this all-important win the former Manchester United assistant coach added: "We played well, we scored goals and the fans were fantastic,

"We fought from end to end with the aim of reaching our objective."

Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to miss Portugal's match with an ankle injury, but it was his replacement and former Manchester United team-mate Nani who broke the deadlock, rifling into the top corner after 14 minutes.

The former Sporting Lisbon winger saw another effort strike the post just after the half-hour mark before Simao settled the home side's nerves with a fine finish from the edge of the box on the stroke of half-time.

Miguel put Portugal further ahead in the second half before Edinho struck in the last minute, as the 2006 World Cup semi-finalists celebrated a result which means Sweden and their 69 million-euro Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will watch next summer's South African showpiece from home.

Portugal endured a terrible start to their bid to reach South Africa, winning just two of their first seven games and at one stage registering three back-to-back goalless draws.

Sweden's 1-0 defeat to Denmark on Saturday allowed them to move into second place, though, and the win over Malta means they join seven other sides in the draw for the two-legged European play-offs, which take place in November.

Olympiakos centre-back Olof Mellberg scored twice for Sweden in Solna, with Marcus Berg and Anders Svensson also on target for the hosts and Hamid Salihi netting a consolation for Albania.

Denmark's victory over Sweden at the weekend meant they were already assured of qualification as group winners although they rounded off their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Hungary in Copenhagen.

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Info

4 - 0

Malta

L L L L W
Competition
WC Qualification Europe
Date
14 October 2009
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
2 - 0
Full-time
4 - 0

Goals

Nani 15'  
1 - 0
Simão 45'  
2 - 0
3 - 0
Edinho 90'  
4 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

Wednesday 17 September

21:09
20:31
19:45
19:25
19:16
19:11
18:50
18:49
18:45
18:35
18:25
18:20
18:01
17:51
17:34
16:56
16:10
16:10
16:00
15:45
15:31
15:29
14:10
13:57
13:34
13:09
12:32
11:56
11:05
10:48
10:23
10:10
09:43
09:38
09:37
08:38
08:37
07:18
05:47
04:06
03:49
03:14
03:10
02:32
02:26
02:26
01:35
01:20
00:35
00:35
00:33
00:27
00:26
00:26
00:10
00:05
00:04
00:02
00:00

Tuesday 16 September

23:50
23:46
23:42
23:23
23:06
23:05
22:57
22:50
22:49
22:44
22:38
22:36
22:05
21:07
21:04
20:56
20:48
20:28
19:50
19:46
19:38
19:27
19:09
19:09
18:40
17:51
17:33
17:28
16:58
16:40
16:39
16:20
15:58
14:42
14:33
14:27
14:26
13:57
12:49
12:22
10:21
10:13
09:44
09:32
06:58
06:43
06:03
05:59
05:37
05:20
04:08
03:37
03:17
03:11
02:53
01:21
01:16
00:36
00:32

Monday 15 September

23:54
23:22
23:10
22:54
22:42
22:03
21:59
21:23
21:05
20:50
20:33
20:05
19:32
18:59
18:54
18:22
18:05
17:55
17:55
17:11
17:05
16:51
16:29
16:25
15:49
15:23
14:53
14:44
14:33
14:30
14:10
14:01
13:47
13:12
13:06
12:41
12:34
12:20
11:25
11:15
10:51
10:17
10:17
09:58
09:51
09:39
09:38
09:04
07:07
07:03
05:59
05:01
04:45
04:03
03:08
03:03
02:54
01:31
01:06
00:21

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