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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Portugal cruise with Cristiano Ronaldo brace as Sweden stun France late

Cristiano Ronaldo provided two goals and an assist to lead Portugal to a 3-0 win over Latvia in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Ronaldo was twice denied by Latvia keeper Andris Vanins in the first half, and after persistent fouling did not hide his frustration from the referee.

But he found the breakthrough with four minutes until half-time after Jose Fonte's shot struck the inside of the post and caromed across the goal for Ronaldo to head in from a yard out.

Ronaldo's second came from even closer to the goal line in the 63rd minute as Ricardo Quaresma's cross took a deflection and the Real Madrid star rose highest to nod the ball home.

Four minutes later, Ronaldo could have tried for a hat trick but unselfishly played the ball across for Andre Silva to score instead. Silva had started the play by dispossessing defender Kaspars Gorkss, and though the ball was quickly played in to Ronaldo, he spotted his teammate entering the box and supplied the assist.

Ronaldo leads all of UEFA World Cup qualifying with 11 goals, three ahead of Poland's Robert Lewandowski.

Portugal remained three points back of Group B leaders Switzerland, who are still perfect through six games after a 2-0 win at Faroe Islands.

Granit Xhaka opened the scoring just before the break, playing a one-two with Blerim Dzemaili, then dancing his way around a defender and into the box before shooting across goal.

Xherdan Shaqiri added a Swiss second before the hour mark, taking a Dzemaili pass before shooting between the keeper's legs.

Andorra dealt a major blow to Hungary's hopes of catching the top two with a 1-0 win, Marc Rebes scoring the only goal with a header midway through the first half.

The victory was Andorra's first in World Cup qualifying since they beat Macedonia in October 2004.

Several Andorra players were in tears after the final whistle, having secured their first victory in 66 competitive matches.

Sweden could hardly believe their luck after securing a late winner against France

Sweden were last-gasp winners against France to go level on points atop Group A when Ola Toivonen struck from midfield in stoppage time to beat an out-of-position Hugo Lloris and claim a 2-1 victory in Stockholm.

With the game looking set to end level, Lloris made a huge blunder while trying to dribble the ball out of his own box. He then misplayed a pass to midfield that Toivonen struck first time from 58 yards away, beating the France keeper before he could get back and sending the crowd into delirium.

Olivier Giroud had opened the scoring for France -- minutes after missing a close-range header -- with a superb volley from the left side of Sweden's penalty area that left Robin Olsen no chance and gave Les Bleus a 1-0 lead.

But just ahead of half-time, Sweden struck back with a fine indiviudal effort from Jimmy Durmaz, who lashed home a first-time half-volley from a Ludwig Augustinsson cross to make it 1-1 at the break.

With neither team able to break the deadlock, Didier Deschamps brought on Monaco pair Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar for Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet in the 75th minute.

Lemar nearly set Giroud up with his first touch of the game, but his in-swinging cross was just out of the reach for the Arsenal striker at the back post.

Netherlands ran out 5-0 winners against Luxembourg in Dick Advocaat's first game back as manager of the Dutch.

Arjen Robben gave the returning manager, who'd coached the team twice before, a perfect start in the 21st minute, the Bayern Munich striker picking up a Wesley Hoedt through ball and firing home with his left foot for a 1-0 lead. The strike pulled Robben level with Johan Cruyff and Abe Lenstra for the seventh-most goals in Netherlands history with 33.

Wesley Sneijder marked the occasion of his 33rd birthday by doubling Netherlands' lead with a low line drive from 18 yeards to beat Ralph Schon after Memphis Depay sprang him with a nice flick at the top of the penalty area. The goal was Sneijder's 31st for his country in his 131st appearance, making the Galatasaray midfielder the most-capped Dutch player in history ahead of Edwin van der Sar.

A poor clearance by Luxembourg led to the hosts' third goal when Georginio Wijnaldum left no doubt with a curling first-time shot from the top of the area to pad Netherlands' lead.

Substitute Quincy Promes added his team's fourth with a close-range header following a Stefan de Vrij cross and with the outcome -- and a needed three points -- already assured for Advocaat's side, Vincent Janssen made it 5-0 from the penalty spot after being hauled down in the box by Schon.

The win saw Netherlands leapfrog Bulgaria, who lost 2-1 away to strugglers Belarus, into third spot in the group table.

Belarus were surprise 1-0 leaders at half-time with the opener from the penalty spot, Mikhail Sivakov converting after Denis Laptev was hauled down in the area by Bulgaria's Bozhidar Chorbadzhiyski.

Try as they might, the Bulgarians could not draw level and conceded a second when Pavel Sawicki's shot found the top left corner after Stanislav Dragun had teed him up to give Belarus a 2-0 lead.

The visitors clawed one back with a stoppage-time goal from Georgi Kostadinov, but there was no time for an equaliser and Bulgaria could come to rue the slip against their second-bottom opponents if they fail to qualify for Russia.

Belgium maintained their lead atop Group H with a 2-0 defeat of Estonia at the A. Le Coq Arena.

The Belgians are yet to lose in qualifying thus far, taking 16 points from six matches, and were on the scoreboard after the half-hour.

Kevin De Bruyne's cross from the right was mishandled by Estonia goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu into the path of Dries Mertens, who comfortably slotted home at the far post.

Belgium then put the game away in the 86th minute through Nacer Chadli, who slotted home a De Bruyne pass from close range.

Second-placed Greece battled to a goalless draw with third-placed Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica to stay four points back of the leaders.

The draw puts Greece in the playoff position on 12 points from six matches, while the hosts sit on 11.

In the group's other match, fourth-placed Cyprus rallied to defeat last-placed Gibraltar 2-1.

Roy Chipolina's own goal gave the visitors an early advantage in the 10th minute -- the defender leaping to cut off a Konstantinos Charalampidis chipped ball into the area and inadvertently looping his header over onrushing keeper Deren Ibrahim and into the empty net.

Gibraltar responded, though, 20 minutes later through Anthony Hernandez, who received a through-ball in the area and curled his right-footed shot around the keeper.

Cyprus then went in front for good in the 87th minute -- Pieros Sotiriou heading home Jason Demetriou's cross from the centre of the box to give the Cypriots a valuable three points.

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