November 15, 2013 01:13
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden
World Cup 2014 Playoffs
The playoffs are played in front of passionate home crowd fans at famous national stadiums.
UEFA has eight nations vying for their four remaining spots, while CAF (Africa) uses playoffs as the sole way to decide their five places at the World Cup. The remaining two spots are decided by inter-confederation playoffs, with Uruguay (CONMEBOL – South America) playing Jordan (AFC – Asia) and New Zealand (OFC – Oceania) facing Mexico (CONCACAF – North and Central America).
The first legs of these last two playoffs were completed on Wednesday with both Uruguay and Mexico scoring five goals each against their opponents, and only conceding one between them.
Mexico took a big step towards the World Cup finals with a 5-1 win over New Zealand in the first leg of their qualifying play-off.
Oribe Peralta scored twice, with Paul Aguilar, Raul Jimenez and Rafael Marquez also on target for Miguel Herrera's team.
Chris James grabbed a late consolation goal for the Oceania champions at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
The return leg will be held in Wellington next Wednesday.
Portugal v Sweden
A mouth-watering exciting clash featuring superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Sweden's other top players include defender Jonas Olsson of West Brom, mid-table midfielder Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) and Johan Elmander, who despite his obvious skill isn’t a reliable goalscorer, only finding the net for Norwich twice against Bury (2second in League Two) in the League Cup.
Sweden (20 points) only just got over the line in their group, containing Germany.
Portugal's top players include Fabio Coentrão, Joao Moutinho, Raul Meireles and Luis Nani.
Ronaldo may miss the first or both games due to a niggling ankle-knack.
Ukraine v France
Greece v Romania
Croatia v Iceland
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