Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, chases the ball with Sweden's Sebastian Larsson, right, during a World Cup qualifying first leg playoff soccer match between Portugal and Sweden at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 (Photo: AP)
Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a diving header eight minutes from the end to give Portugal a 1-0 win over Sweden on Friday in the first leg of their World Cup playoff.
Ronaldo's late strike gave the Portuguese a slender advantage ahead of the return leg at the Swedish national stadium on Tuesday as the two countries fight for a berth at next year's tournament in Brazil.
Ronaldo also headed against the crossbar in a late flurry of action after a mostly uneventful game.
The playoff set the stage for a duel between two of Europe's top players, with high-scoring Ronaldo and Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic both netting hat tricks for their clubs last weekend.
But the game didn't live up to its billing, especially in a mostly dull second half.
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