World Cup 2014: France to face Ukraine


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France have been drawn to face Ukraine in the play-offs for next year’s World Cup finals, while Portugal will have to take on Sweden.

Ukraine will be tough opponents for France as they showed in the group stages when holding England to a goalless draw in Kiev and a 1-1 draw at Wembley.

French coach Didier Deschamps is relieved that France are at home in the second leg but knows it will be a tough double-header nonetheless.

“It will not be easy against a Ukrainian team which has now played seven games without defeat,” he said.

“Ukraine may not have superstars like Portugal or Croatia but they were seeded and it is important that we respect their quality.”

Meanwhile, Portugal take on Sweden meaning either Cristiano Ronaldo or Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss out on a trip to Brazil for World Cup 2014.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento said in statement: “We have two tough games against a side that, as well as having one of the best strikers in the world, plays well as a team.

“Sweden finished second in a group that contained Germany, one of the contenders to win the whole tournament.

“The key is to be prepared, and to be confident that we have a real chance of reaching the finals.”

Elsewhere, Iceland will face Croatia as they look to reach the World Cup for the first time, while Romania will face Greece.

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