FOOTBALL NEWS

19/11/2013 22:41, Report by Adam Bostock
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World Cup joy for pair

Manchester United's contingent at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil received a double boost as both Nani and Patrice Evra helped their countries to qualify.

Both Nani's Portugal and Evra's France had work to do going into Tuesday night's play-off second leg matches, with the former only winning 1-0 at home to Sweden and the latter losing 2-0 away to Ukraine a few days ago. But this work was duly done and dramatically so at Stockholm's Friends Arena, where the contest lived up to the pre-match billing it had received in many quarters - Zlatan Ibrahimovic versus Cristiano Ronaldo.

Two of the best forwards in world football scored all the goals between them - with Ronaldo seeing Ibrahmovic's double and raising a hat-trick to give Portugal a stunning 3-2 away win and a 4-2 aggregate victory. Cristiano, of course, also scored the first leg's only goal.

France, meanwhile, staged a commendable comeback with their first-leg deficit wiped out by half-time in Paris courtesy of goals from Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema. A second goal by Sakho, 16 minutes from the end, ensured Les Bleus overcame the ten men of Ukraine - the visitors had Yevhen Khacheridi dismissed shortly after half-time for a second bookable offence. Evra was one of five other players shown a yellow card but that will be swiftly forgotten as the French toast their triumph.

Meanwhile, Shinji Kagawa was the only United representative to win an international friendly on Tuesday evening. The midfielder played for 83 minutes as Japan won 3-2 away to

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