ARTICLE: Bento full of praise for Portugal

Portugal manager Paulo Bento praised his side for overcoming a tricky play-off with Sweden to book their place at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

“Qualification was fair, and we have to enjoy the moment,” Bento said following Portugal’s 3-2 (4-2 aggregate) second-leg play-off victory in Solna.

He added: “Since 2000, Portugal has made every finals without a break and this generation needs to be congratulated.”

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REPORT: Sweden 2-3 Portugal (2-4 agg)

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

Sweden 2-3 Portugal (2-4 aggregate)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half hat-trick booked Portugal’s place at the 2014 Brazil World Cup finals after a second-leg play-off victory in Solna.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in four minutes following Ronaldo’s 50th-minute strike to set up a tense finale. However, the Real Madrid forward netted a further two goals to secure qualification for Portugal.

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World Cup first-leg play-offs round-up

Cristiano Ronaldo proved the difference as his late header earned Portugal a 1-0 victory in their FIFA World Cup first-leg play-off against Sweden at the Estadio Da Luz.

The Real Madrid forward met Miguel Veloso’s exquisite cross with a diving header on 82 minutes to give Paulo Bento’s side the advantage ahead of the second leg in Solna on Tuesday.

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REPORT: Ronaldo strikes to give Portugal narrow lead

Photo: RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

Photo: RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

Portugal 1-0 Sweden

Cristiano Ronaldo proved the hero with his 82nd-minute header in Portugal’s World Cup first-leg play-off victory at the Estadio Da Luz on Friday.

The Real Madrid forward scored his seventh goal in seven appearances for his country to give Paulo Bento’s team a narrow lead ahead of the second leg in Sweden next Tuesday.

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REPORT: Madrid sink Juventus at the Bernabéu

Cristiano Ronaldo proved instrumental in Real Madrid’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League win over Juventus with his two first-half goals at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday.

The Portugal international bagged a brace, including a penalty, either side of Fernando Llorente’s goal, before Giorgio Chiellini was sent off for an alleged elbow on Ronaldo in the penalty area.

The victory meant Real kept top spot in Group B with nine points, while Galatasaray replaced Juventus in second place after Roberto Mancini’s men beat FC Copenhagen 3-1.

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VIDEO: Backstage at Hall of Fame

One month ago, some of London’s leading sportsmen and sportswomen gathered at BAFTA for the 2014 Balfour Beatty London Youth Games Hall of Fame and Annual Awards.

Here’s what some of the award winners and special guests had to say backstage to me.

EXCLUSIVE: Chedjou not afraid of Real and Bale challenge

This article was first published on www.fourfourtwo.com. To read the original version, click here.

Galatasaray defender Aurélien Chedjou has described world record signing Gareth Bale as a “great player” but insists the club are not afraid of Champions League opponents Real Madrid.

The Turkish champions face the nine-time European Cup winners in their Group B clash in Istanbul on Tuesday.

Bale – who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in a world record transfer fee of £85 million on September 1 – scored a debut goal in the club’s 2-2 draw away to Villarreal on Saturday.

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BLOG: Why PSG must win this weekend

This blog was first published on www.fourfourtwo.com. To read it, click here.

PSG’s winless start to their Ligue 1 title defence means results are needed and fast, as Vaishali Bhardwaj explains.

The pressure is slowly but surely beginning to pile onto Paris Saint-Germain.

On Sunday night, Laurent Blanc’s side could only muster a 1-1 draw against Ajaccio at the Parc des Princes. It was an incredible game that saw Benoît Pedretti give the visitors a shock lead in the ninth minute before Edinson Cavani netted his debut goal for PSG in stunning fashion late on to end the contest on level terms.

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VIDEO: Inside the Soccer Shop Window

Watch my feature for Break London TV – which I presented and produced – on the Soccer Shop Window trials held at QPR’s academy base in June.

The three-day event aimed to give recently released or unsigned players their chance to get scouted and find a new club.

I hope you enjoy watching this feature as much as I enjoyed making it.

Vaishali

INTERVIEW: 100m sprinter Tyson Gay

Watch my video interview with 100m sprinter Tyson Gay at the 2010 Aviva London Grand Prix press conference.