Football

Playoffs, friendlies take center stage

Updated 2337 GMT (0737 HKT) November 15, 2013
Share
ronaldo galleryronaldo gallery
1 of 9
Cristiano Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure for most of the game against Sweden but he scored late to give Portugal a 1-0 win in the first leg of their World Cup playoff. FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images
In a series billed as a battle between Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 'Ibra' was silenced in the first leg as the Swedes increasingly sat back in an attempt to thwart Portugal. MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images
Croatia's Luka Modric was unable to unlock the Iceland defense, with the underdog host hanging on for a 0-0 result. Iceland played most of the second half with 10 men. HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images
Hugo Lloris returned to action after suffering a head injury while playing for Tottenham two weeks ago. The French keeper, though, was beaten twice in Ukraine and Les Bleus now face an uphill battle to qualify for Brazil. FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Dimitris Salpingidis scored one of the goals for Greece, which takes a commanding 3-1 lead to Romania in the fourth European playoff tie. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images
In Friday's most glamorous friendly, Germany and Euro 2012 finalist Italy drew 1-1 in Milan. Mats Hummels opened the scoring for Germany with a header. Dino Panato/Getty Images
Alexis Sanchez scored both goals for Chile in a 2-0 victory against England at Wembley. And England faces a stiffer test Tuesday when it battles old rival Germany. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Russia manager Fabio Capello was busy giving orders against Serbia. Russia, which finished ahead of Portugal in qualifying, played to a 1-1 draw in the friendly in the United Arab Emirates. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images
In an encounter between two teams who have qualified for the World Cup, South Korea rallied from a goal down to beat Switzerland 2-1 in Seoul. It was Switzerland's first loss since May 2012. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images