• Switzerland's news in English

FIFA draws Sweden and Portugal for play-offs

AFP · 21 Oct 2013, 16:13

Published: 21 Oct 2013 16:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Former champions France were given a favourable pairing as they travel to Ukraine for the first leg on November 15 while Greece will host Romania and Croatia play their first leg in Iceland.
The second round of the two-legged tie will be played on November 19th.
Former World Cup semi-finalists Portugal and Sweden were the first two countries pulled out of the hat as Cristiano Ronaldo will defy Zlatan Ibrahimovic in what will be a battle of star-studded line-ups.
"We have been drawn against a team against whom we will be playing two complicated matches, two relatively balanced matches," explained Portugal coach Paulo Bento.
"Besides having one of the best strikers in the world (Ibrahimovic), the quality of their team (Sweden), is their collective spirit.
"They finished second in a group that had one of the best European teams and potential winners Germany.
"However regardless of the opponent, we will be playing these two matches with the aim of playing at the World Cup," continued Bento.
Didier Deschamps' French side, who were narrowly beaten to top spot in their pool by defending champions Spain, travel to the Euro 2012 co-hosts where they defeated Ukraine 2-0 in group play.
"We were not seeded and could have played Portugal or Croatia who have a long history, but Ukraine is not a simple draw either," Deschamps told Eurosport tv.
"They are on a run of seven matches without defeat and they concede very few goals as well as a long trip over there," he continued.
"It's good to have the return leg at home but one team will qualify and the other will be staying home for the World Cup.
"We have to have a lot of confidence and respect the opposition," added the 1998 World Cup winning captain.
Ukraine's key player Artem Fedetsky of Dnepropetrovsk believes in his side's chances despite a tough draw.
"We've already been buried after the poor start in the qualifying campaign," he said.
"However, we managed to come back and reach the play-off stage," Fedetsky said.

"After that every single match for us was like the final, like a do-or-die mission," he said.

"Now we have serious experience of playing the most important matches.

"We are a cohesive team now and, I believe, we have fair chances to go through."
Romania are bidding to return to the final stages for the first time since 1998 and will fancy their chances against goal-shy Greece, who were beaten to top spot in their pool by Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Greece coach Fernando Santos feels the 2004 European champions can fulfil their dream and called on their fans to get behind the team.
"No matter who the opponent, the level of all the teams are very strong," Santos said.

"The Romanians are of great quality and dangerous and difficult opponents," he said.
"I would have preferred the first match to be away, but again, it does not matter.

Story continues below…

"The message I send to the Greek fans is to believe in this team, to support us, to fill the stadium to push the team and help us." 
Finally, Iceland look to qualify for the first time in their history against a Croatia side coming off back to back defeats against Scotland and in the midst of a managerial change.
The four winners will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil from June 12th to July 13th.
Switzerland is among the nine teams have already qualified from Europe along with Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Spain, England, Russia and Bosnia.
The draw for the eight groups of four that will feature in the first round of the tournament will take place on December 6th in Bahia, Brazil.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available