The road to South Africa.jpg

The road to South Africa

Despite the continued absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese national team made it to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

Leading 1-0 from the home leg in Lisbon, Carlos Queiroz’s men soaked up early Bosnian pressure in Zenica before a 55th minute Raul Meireles strike put the issue beyond doubt.

Elsewhere, a deliberate handball from Thierry Henry put paid to Irish hopes in Paris while ensuring that France will be the most disliked team in the competition come next June.

Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Uruguay and Algeria also came through their play-off matches, although the last mentioned African country’s 1-0 success over Egypt in neutral Sudan has led to a political crisis between the two rivals.

The draw for the biggest spectacle in football will be made on Friday, December 4 in Switzerland.