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Portugal up but Ibrahimović senses victory

Published: Saturday 16 November 2013, 8.53CET
Cristiano Ronaldo called his winner "an important goal", but Zlatan Ibrahimović feels Sweden's fans can turn the play-off tie on Tuesday, saying: "Get behind us and we'll make it."
by José Nuno Pimentel & Sujay Dutt
Portugal up but Ibrahimović senses victory
Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimović and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo shake hands at full-time ©AFP/Getty Images

Published: Saturday 16 November 2013, 8.53CET

Portugal up but Ibrahimović senses victory

Cristiano Ronaldo called his winner "an important goal", but Zlatan Ibrahimović feels Sweden's fans can turn the play-off tie on Tuesday, saying: "Get behind us and we'll make it."

Cristiano Ronaldo was glad to have scored an "important goal" to give Portugal a 1-0 lead against Sweden, but the captain and his coach Paulo Bento know there could have been more in their FIFA World Cup play-off opener – and the visitors' Zlatan Ibrahimović is confident his side can turn the tables on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal forward
It was an important goal. We could have scored one or two more, but that didn't happen. Even so, we have to be happy. It's a good result. We know that next Tuesday we will have another battle. We got a narrow victory, but it is better than a draw. It will be a game like the one we had today, with the same chances for both teams. Portugal have a small advantage, because we got a goal, and I hope it will be enough. We are expecting a very difficult game, but we are ready.

It would be better if we had a larger lead, but we could only score once and now there will be another 90 minutes to play. We will have to be fully focused and also try to score one or two goals. More than anything else, these players want to be in Brazil, so we will give our best to get there.

Paulo Bento, Portugal coach

We started the first half very well and we created a great chance to open the scoring but then Sweden replied with their best chance of the whole 90 minutes. I think that overall, especially in the second half, we were by far the better team. We dominated the whole match, even more so in the second 45 minutes, as we created several chances to get a more comfortable result.

Now the goal is to prepare the team to win again in Sweden, knowing that we are going there with a slender lead but with no goals conceded. We certainly won't go to Sweden to defend this result.

Zlatan Ibrahimović, Sweden forward
We fought hard and well, then one mistake – one goal. That's how it is. We played a good team. Next we play them at home. We've got the measure of them now, and that's an advantage. It's the last game before the World Cup now, and from what I've heard it's going to be a full house. Get behind us and we'll make it.

Erik Hamrén, Sweden coach
I'm always disappointed when we lose. On the whole, we played a good match defensively. What hurts a bit is that we had three good chances to take the lead in the first half. We would have liked to have come away from here having scored a goal.

Kim Källström, Sweden midfielder
We defended well throughout, but after a while we lost our attacking initiative. The circumstances will be very different on Tuesday. Clearly, we can go forward more at home.

I've played [against Ronaldo] a few times. He usually keeps trying and pressing and finally manages to break through and score. That's the mark of a great player.

Last updated: 08/05/14 1.56CET

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