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Cristiano Ronaldo fires; French lose

Cristiano Ronaldo fires; French lose
Highlights

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to take his tally in the World Cup qualifiers to 11 goals as Portugal won 3-0 against Latvia to keep pace with Group B leaders Switzerland who beat the Faroe Islands 2-0, with goals from their Premier League stars Granit Xhaka (36) and Xerdan Shaqiri (59).

Paris: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to take his tally in the World Cup qualifiers to 11 goals as Portugal won 3-0 against Latvia to keep pace with Group B leaders Switzerland who beat the Faroe Islands 2-0, with goals from their Premier League stars Granit Xhaka (36) and Xerdan Shaqiri (59).

In keeping with his great season finale, the Real Madrid star was decisive with two goals (41 and 63) and an assist for André Silva to score the third (67).Ronaldo has scored 18 goals in his last eleven matches and after guiding Real Madrid to the La Liga-Champions League double will try to extend his trophy collection with the Confederations Cup from June 17 to July 2.
The surprise result of the group was the defeat of Hungary against modest Andorra (1-0), leaving the Central European side virtually outside the World Cup.

France tasted a dramatic 2-1 defeat in Sweden on Saturday after the latter snatched victory with an Ola Toivonen goal from the half-way line in extra time.The freak goal sent the massed ranks of yellow clad fans in Stockholm into a wild frenzy, but more importantly with four games to go it sent Sweden top of Group A, level on 13 points with France.

Only the winners of each group are guaranteed a place at next year's finals in Russia, with the eight best second-placed sides competing in the play-offs.The French will now play a crucial tie on August 31 against the Netherlands, who remain in the running after thrashing Luxembourg 5-0, while Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal's 3-0 triumph in Latvia.

For Deschamps's side it was the first defeat in qualifying and they next face a tough test against the Netherlands in Paris.
Veterans Arjen Robben (21) and Wesley Sneijder (34) laid the groundwork for a Dutch victory in coach Dick Advocaat's first game in charge.

In the second half Georginio Wijnaldum (62) and Quincy Promes (70) scored with Vincent Janssen, adding a penalty six minutes from time.In Group B, Switzerland remain top after beating the Faroe Islands 2-0, thanks to their stars Granit Shaka (36) and Xerdan Shaqiri (59), and are three points ahead of Portugal, the reigning European champions, who beat Latvia thanks to another Ronaldo goal scoring display.

The Real Madrid star was decisive with two goals (41 and 63) and an assist for André Silva to score the third (67).
The surprise result of the group was the defeat of Hungary against modest Andorra (1-0), leaving the Central European side virtually outside the World Cup.

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