FOOTBALL NEWS

15/11/2013 20:03, Report by Adam Marshall
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Nani edges nearer Brazil

Updated 16 Nov, 14:00 GMT

Nani's Portugal moved a step closer to the World Cup finals with a narrow 1-0 first-leg win in their play-off against Sweden.

The United winger played his part in the victory and was denied a goal by a smart save by Andreas Isaksson. Predictably, it was ex-Red Cristiano Ronaldo who secured the vital winner, diving to head home with eight minutes left and he also hit the bar late on.

Patrice Evra's France face an uphill battle to qualify for Brazil after a 2-0 loss in Ukraine as both sides finished with 10 men. Roman Zozulya grabbed the opener just past the hour mark and Andriy Yarmolenko's penalty gives Ukraine a healthy lead going into Tuesday's second leg in Paris. Laurent Koscielny and Oleksandr Kucher were sent off in the closing stages. 

Meanwhile, England were beaten 2-0 by Chile at Wembley in a friendly with Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez scoring both goals. Phil Jones, playing at centre-back, twice went close in the first half before being replaced by Chris Smalling on 57 minutes.

Wayne Rooney played the full match and created one good opening for Adam Lallana while Tom Cleverley came on for the final 20 minutes.

Antonio Valencia captained Ecuador in a friendly against Argentina in New Jersey. The game ended in a tame goalless draw, though Valencia came closest to scoring with a first-half header that struck the woodwork.

Shinji Kagawa came off the bench at half-time in Japan's friendly with the Netherlands in Genk, and helped the Blue Samurai complete a comeback from two goals down to draw 2-2.

Jonny Evans came through the full 90 minutes of Northern Ireland's 1-0 defeat to Turkey in Adana. Mevlut Erding

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