World Cup Playoffs – First Leg Results

Cristiano Ronaldo

Nothing is over, but some teams have huge leads towards the second leg. Ukraine stunned France with some wonderful counter attacking, beating the favorites 2-0, while Greece did concede an away goal but probably did enough with a 3-1 win over Romania. Cristiano Ronaldo won the battle of the stars, scoring the only goal in the 1-0 win over Sweden, while Iceland and Croatia ended their match in a goalless draw.

Four red cards were issued in the four matches, two of them coming in the France-Ukraine matches, while Cristiano Ronaldo, slightly headbutting a Swedish player who decided not to exaggarete with his reaction, avoided a sending off himself before the goal he scored.

Iceland 0  Croatia 0A dull match in Reykjavik, although it really doesn’t matter to the underdogs who play the same defensive and stubborn way at home and away. Olafur Ingi Skulason was sent off, as Croatia have a huge advantage for the second leg in Zagreb.

Portugal 1  Sweden 0The big Ronaldo vs Ibrahimovic matchup didn’t give us great football, but one moment of Cristiano Ronaldo finding himself open gave the Portuguese a slight lead towards the second leg. Ronaldo might have been sent off if Sweden’s player would have been looking for a card, while the Swedish team were too obsessed with ending the match in a 0-0, giving up on trying to score a goal in the final 40 minutes.

Greece 3  Romania 1: A huge step towards reaching the world cup with some clinical finishing from Konstantinos Mitroglou, scoring the opening goal for Greece. Bogdan Stancu equalized shortly after, but Dimitrios Salpingidis gave Greece the lead again. Konstantinos Mitroglou scored again in the 67th minute, while Romania lost Costin Lazar to a red card in the 90th minute.

Ukraine 2  France 0France were probably the better side for most of the match, but the Ukraine counter attack deserved more goals than just two in the final 20 minutes. Roman Zozulya scored first to give Ukraine the lead and Andriy Yarmolenko gave them a huge lead towards their visit to Paris with a penalty kick. Both goals were almost saved by Hugo Lloris. Laurent Koscielny with the usual foolish moment of losing his head got sent off for slapping a player, while Oleksandr Kucher was booked twice in three minutes, and along with Vyacheslav Shevchuk won’t play in the second leg.