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Hat-trick hero Ronaldo fires Portugal

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RONALDO-SWEDEN-2SOLNA, Sweden, November 20 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brilliant hat-trick as Portugal survived a second-half scare to qualify for their fourth straight World Cup final with a 3-2 play-off second leg win against Sweden on Tuesday to qualify 4-2 on aggregate.

The Real Madrid superstar scored all four on his side’s goals including the first-leg winner as he overcame an equally brilliant display from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a classic encounter at Solna.

Ibrahimovic scored both goals for Sweden in vain as the match featured five goals in 29 minutes of second-half madness.

Ronaldo also becomes Portugal’s all-time leading scorer as took his tally to 50 and three ahead of retired forward Pedro Pauleta.

With Portugal leading 1-0 after the first-leg and the match scoreless at half-time, Ronaldo turned the game on its head five minutes after the restart when he latched onto a glorious through ball from Joao Moutinho and guided a left-foot shot past the despairing Andreas Isaksson.

The counter-attack that begun inside the Portuguese penalty area, took just two touches to send the former Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United striker free on a break that went the length of the pitch.

Sweden were left facing the daunting prospect of scoring three times in 40 minutes and roused the crowd into a frenzy when Ibrahimovic headed home Kim Kallstrom’s corner with 22 minutes remaining.

The packed crowd at the Friends Arena were given further hope four minutes later when English referee Howard Webb correctly awarded a free-kick to Sweden just outside the area which Ibrahimovic drilled low past Rui Patricio.

With a wave of yellow shirts bombarding the Portuguese defence, Ronaldo again came to the rescue with two goals in two minutes, both of them clinical finishes after breaking behind the defence.

Hugo Almeida set up Portugal’s third goal which took the sting out of the crowd before another perfect pass from Moutinho enabled Ronaldo to round Isaksson before smashing the ball in off the underside of the bar.

Portugal had the better of the first-half chances with Ronaldo twice blasting over from inside the box and Bruno Alves seeing his glancing header desperately pushed away by Isaksson.

However, Sweden kept at the task in hand with Ibrahimovic turning a close-range shot over the bar and Kallstrom’s rasping long-range shot well collected by Rui Patricio.

The stage was then set for a second-half of thrilling action and Ronaldo’s battle with Ibrahmivic which was finally won by the Portuguese.

Ghana wafuzu kwa mara ya tatu mtawalia

Ghana walifuzu Kombe la Dunia kwa mara ya tatu mfululizo baada ya kukamilisha kichapo cha 7-3 kwa ujumla dhidi ya Misri Jumanne.

Timu hiyo maarufu Black Stars, walicheza katika Dimba la 2006 na 2010 la shindano hilo na licha ya kushindwa 2-1 jijini Cairo katika mechi ya marudiano, walifuzu kuwakilisha bara Afrika Brazil kutokana na fedheha waliowaandalia Misri ya 6-1 mjini Kumasi kwenye mkondo wa kwanza.

Amr Zaki alipatana na mkwaju wa adhabu uliyomiminwa naye nyota Mohamed Aboutrika na kuelekeza boli wavuni katika dakika ya 25 kuwapa wenyeji uongozi pale kipa wa Ghana, Fatau Dauda, alipokosa kulenga mpira huo vyema.

Mohamed Gedo alitoka kwenye benchi na kuwaongezea Misri bao la pili katika dakika ya 83 kabla ya Kevin-Prince Boateng kupokea krosi ya chini kutoka nahodha wake Asamoah Gyan dakika mbili kabla ya muda wa kawaida kuyeyuka na kufanya mambo kuwa 2-1 katika kikomo.

Hii ilikuwa nafasi ya mwisho kwa kizazi nyota cha Misri kucheza Kombe la Dunia huku Aboutrika, Wael Gomaa na Said Moawad wakikosa kuongoza wana firauni kufuzu kwa mara ya kwanza tangu 1990.

“Tunaomba musamaha na tunatakia kikosi kifuatacho kila la kheri na tunawashukuru mashabiki wote waliojitokeza uwanjani,” Aboutrika, ambaye anastaafu kutoka mchezo wa kimataida, aliandika kwenye anwani yake ya mtandao wa Twitter.

Algeria wapenya kucheza Brazil

Algeria walijiinua kutoka kushindwa jijini Ouagadougou na kufuzu Kombe la Dunia mwakani baada ya kuwakomesha wageni Burkina Faso 1-0 katika mechi ya marudiano mjini Bidra Jumanne.

Kufuatia hayo, Algeria ambao walicheza katika Dimba la 2010, walijikatia tiketi yao kwa mabao ya ugenini baada ya pata shika yao dhidi ya vijana hao wa Stallions kuishia sare ya 3-3 katika miondoano ya mwisho ya shindano hilo barani Afrika.

Kwenye mechi ya mdemuko, bao la Madjid Bougherra ambalo lilipatikana kwa njia ya kibahati lilisababisha tofauti kwenye kivumbi ambacho wageni walishindwa kutawala wenyeji wao katika harakati zao za kusaka onyesho lao la kwanza kwenye Dimba la Dunia.

Kipindi cha kwanza kilishudia pande zote mbili zikipimana nguvu bila ya mashambulizi ya maana kwenye dhihirisho ya shinikizo kuu timu hizo zilitizama.

Islam Slimani alikosa nafasi mwafaka ya kupatia Algeria bao walilolihitaji kufuzu baada ya kuelekeza mpira wa kichwa wazi ya lango baada ya kunganishiwa visafu na Faouzi Ghoulam ambaye alibuni nafasi kwenye wingi ya kushoto kabla ya kupeperusha krosi rojo rojo.

Nahodha Bougherra alipata bao la ushindi dakika nne baada ya kipindi cha pili kungoa nanga baada ya ngome ya Burkina Faso, ambayo ilikuwa imara hadi wakati huo, kushindwa kudhibiti mkwaju wa adhabu kutoka Ghoulam.

Jaribio lake la kwanza lilizimwa na kipa Bakary Kone  lakini kwenye hima ya kufyeka mpira huo nje, ulidunda kutoka Boughera na kutiririka ndani ya neti.

Mshambuliaji wa Burkina Faso, Aristide Bance, aliyetoka kwenye benchi, alisababisha kiwewe kwenye ngome ya wenyeji na nusura wafuzu baada ya kona kuelekezwa kwenye ulingo wa lango na mchezaji wa Algeria.

Afrika Kusini wabwaga Spain

Mabingwa wa dunia, Uhispania walijipata kwenye mshtuko wa kunyolewa 1-0 na Afrika Kusini katika mechi ya kimataifa ya kirafiki Jumanne latika uga wa Soccer City, Johannesburg.

Hiyo ilikuwa mechi ya pili kupoteza kati ya 17 mwaka huu huku kiungo Bernard Parker akifunga bao la ushidi mapema katika kipindi cha pili kutoka hatua chache licha ya juhudi za mlinda lango Victor Valdes kuudaka.

Uhispania wabuni nafasi nadra kusawazisha hadi dakika za ziada pale Alvaro Arbeloa alipokaribia kufunga katika mechi iliyosakatwa katika uwanja walioshinda Uholanzi 1-0 kuinua Kombe la Dunia 2010.

Tokeo hilo la kushangaza lilifuatia kugaragazwa 3-0 katika fainali ya Kombe la Majumuia mikononi mwa Brazil miezi tano iliyopita.

“Yalikuwa matokeo ya kusisimua zaidi,” kocha wa Afrika Kusini, Gordon Igesund alisema. “Wachezaji walitenda makuu na mbinu zetu zilifanikiwa.”

“Tulijua yale Uhispania wapanga kufanya na tulidhibiti mbinu zao vilivyo. Mashabiki wetu wanastahili matokeo kama hayo baada ya sisi kushindwa kufuzu Kombe la Dunia.”

Uhispania waliorodhesha viungo saba walioanza kwenye fainali ya Kombe la Dunia 2010 huku wenyeji wakiorodhesha beki wa kushoto Thabo Matlaba na viunfo Andile Jali na Oupa Manyisa kutoka kikosi cha  Orlando Pirates kilichomaliza wa pili kwenye Ligi ya Mabingwa ya Afrika dhidi ya Al Ahly.

Mshambuliaji David Villa alitia mpira ndani ya neti ya Afrika Kusini mara mbili katika dakika saba za mwanzo lakini msaidizi wa refa aliinua kibendera chake kuashiria kuotea.

Staa Ronaldo aongoza Ureno Brazil

Nyota mashuhuri Cristiano Ronaldo alifunga matatu kuongoza taifa lake la Ureno kufuzu Kombe la Dunia 4-2 kwa ujumla ya mabao licha ya tisho kali kutoka wenyeji Uswidi kwenye mechi ya marudiano Jumanne.

Kivumbi hicho kilicho jaa mbwembwe tele na mabao ya kushangaza kiliishia 3-2 kwa faida ya Ureno baada ya staa wa Uswidi, Zlatan Ibrahimovich kuwapa wenyeji uongozi kwa kufunga mawili ndani ya dakika nne za kipindi cha pili.

Hatimaye, umaahiri wa Ronaldo ulikuwa tofauti baina ya mataifa haya ya Uropa kwani nyota huyo wa Real Madrid alifunga mabao yote manne ya taifa lake baada ya kumgaria Ibrahimovic kwenye mcheketo wa kusisimua uliochezwa Solna.

Kwa kufunga mabao yote, Ronaldo sasa anamiliki rekodi ya kufungia Ureno na matatu mbele ya Pedro Pauleta ambaye amestaafu.

Ureno waliwasili na uongozi wa 1-0 kutoka mkondo wa kwanza na pande zote zilielekea mapumzikoni zikiwa zimetoshana nguvu 0-0.

Dakika tano tangu kipindi cha lala salama kuanza, Ronaldo alibadilisha taswira ya mechi hii baada ya kumeza mpira kutoka Joao Moutinho na kumalizia na kombora la kushoto na kumwacha kipa Andreas Isaksson akifukuza kivuli.

Wakihitaji mabao matatu ndani ya dakika 40, Uswidi walipata matumaini katika muda wa kichaa pale Ibrahimovic alipoelekeza mpira wa kichwa wavuni ikisalia 22.

Dakika nne baadaye, uwanja wa Friends Arena uliamuka kusherehekea lake la pili baada ya refa wa kutoka Uingereza, Howard Webb, kuwapa Uswidi mkwaju wa adhabu hatua chache mbele ya eneo la hatari kualika Ibrahimovich kuzaba mkwaju mkali ndani ya neti.

Huku jezi za njano zikivizia lango la Ureno, Ronaldo alibadilika kuwa mwokozi na mabao mawili katika dakika mbili pekee, yote yakifungwa na ustadi mkuu baada ya nyota huyo kuvunja ngome ya wenyeji.

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