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EURO WC Qualifier ; Swiss stun Portugal, France held to draw

European champions Portugal were left stunned after a 2-0 defeat to Switzerland as they begin their World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday.

Playing without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal fell behind after 23 minutes when keeper Rui Patricio parried Ricardo Rodriguez’s free kick into the path of Breel Embolo to score.

And the hosts doubled their advantage seven minutes later when Haris Seferovic cut the ball back from the end line for Admir Mehmedi to score from the centre of the box.

Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka was sent off in stoppage time for Switzerland after two bookings, but the result was already in hand.

In Group A, Euro 2016 runners-up France also had a disappointing day as Les Bleus could only manage a goalless draw at Belarus.

Olivier Giroud hit the crossbar with a header in the 58th minute and France were denied on a number of near chances in the second half.

Also in Group A, Sweden began life after Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a 1-1 draw with Netherlands.

Marcus Berg scored the opener for Sweden two minutes before half-time but the Dutch found a lifeline for embattled boss Danny Blind with Wesley Sneijder’s 67th-minute equaliser.

Bulgaria escaped from multiple second-half scares to win 4-3 over Luxembourg in Group A.


Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Roberto Martinez won his first competitive game in charge of Belgium, a 3-0 win at Cyprus in Group H.  Atletico Madrid’s man Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco found the visitors’ third goal nine minutes from time from an Eden Hazard assist.

Also in Group H, Greece scored three times in quick succession just before half-time to defeat Gibraltar 4-1 in the minnows’ first-ever World Cup qualifier with goals from Kostas Mitroglou, Konstantinos Fortounis and Vasilios Torosidis before the break.

Emir Spahic scored twice as Bosnia-Herzegovina began with a 5-0 home winover Estonia.

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