Portugal, without Ronaldo, loses first World Cup qualifier after winning Euro 2016

    Switzerland beat Portugal 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier Tuesday.

    Story highlights

    • Ronaldo still out with knee injury
    • Swiss scored twice within 30 minutes

    (CNN)Portugal always manages to land at European Championships and World Cups, and won Euro 2016 in France in July.

    That's not to say qualifying is always easy -- Portugal has a history of needing the playoffs to lock down a spot -- and if Tuesday is any indication, it could be another bumpy ride for the national team.
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      Without multiple Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who is still nursing the knee injury he picked up in the Euro 2016 final against France, Portugal fell 2-0 to Switzerland to begin its Group B qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
      The Swiss realistically secured all three points after half an hour. Breel Embolo scored on a rebound in the 23rd minute and Admir Mehmedi doubled the advantage with a fine finish in the 30th minute in Basel.
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      Switzerland had midfielder Granit Xhaka sent off for picking up two yellow cards but by that time -- injury time in the second half -- it was too late for Portugal to think of a comeback.
      Portugal had warmed up for the game by routing Gibraltar 5-0 in a friendly last week.