15 Oct 2009

Portugal complete part one of World Cup comeback

12:04 pm on 15 October 2009

The final night European qualifying for football's World Cup has seen the two remaining automatic slots for next year's finals in South Africa go to Switzerland and Slovakia.

Switzerland drew at home to Israel and Slovakia won in Poland.

The 2006 semi-finalists Portugal completed stage one of an unlikely turnaround with a 4-0 home win over Malta, securing a place in next month's play-offs.

They'd looked out of contention after a home loss to Denmark and four successive draws.

England finished with a 3-0 home win over Belarus after qualifying with eight wins before last weekend's loss in Ukraine while Ireland had a goalless draw with Montenegro in Dublin.

Slovenia, Ukraine and Greece took the other places for the play-offs on November the 14th and 18th.

Seedings will be based on FIFA world rankings to be published tomorrow night and the draw will be made in Zurich on Monday night.

Russia, France and Greece are likely to be the other seeded teams with Ukraine, Ireland, Bosnia and Slovenia pitched against them.