Portugal End Swiss Winning Run to Qualify for World Cup
LISBON (Dispatches) - European champions Portugal qualified for next year’s World Cup with a convincing 2-0 home win over Switzerland on Tuesday, ending their rivals’ perfect record in Group B after an own goal by Johan Djourou set them on their way.
With midfielder Bernardo Silva giving one of his best performances for Portugal, the hosts did not even need a goal from captain Cristiano Ronaldo as they pulled level on 27 points with Switzerland and won the group on goal difference.
The unlucky Djourou put the ball through his own net four minutes before halftime and Andre Silva sealed the victory in the 57th minute with his ninth goal of the campaign.
The Swiss had led the group since beating Portugal 2-0 in Basel in their opening match in September last year and gone on to win all nine matches before Tuesday’s encounter in Lisbon, while Portugal had won their subsequent eight.
Aside from a penalty shootout defeat by Chile at the Confederations Cup in June, the defeat by Switzerland was the only competitive game Portugal have lost since Fernando Santos took over as coach in September 2014.