Portugal and France secure World Cup qualification for 2018

Paris Saint Germain midfielder Adrian Rabiot lofts the ball long showing off his basketball skills

Paris Saint Germain midfielder Adrian Rabiot lofts the ball long showing off his basketball skills

1998 World Cup winners France sealed their place in Russian Federation next year with a 2-1 home victory over Belarus.

Portugal and France booked their places in next year's Fifa World Cup after wins over Switzerland and Belarus respectively.

Antoine Griezmann put France ahead in the 27th minute after being set up by Blaise Matuidi.

That proved to be the last goal of the game as Les Bleus booked their spot in Russian Federation.

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In the end, France were able to ride out the game and the Netherlands beat Sweden 2-0 to make the result irrelevant, but this was an uninspired performance in a potentially vital match.

However, the Netherlands had gone into the fixture needing a miraculous 7-0 win to survive.

Arjen Robben drew first blood for Holland with a 16th minute penalty before netting his second 24 minutes later.

As long as France win, they advance to the World Cup no matter what else happens in the group. But dropped points to Luxembourg and Sweden over the last two worldwide match periods mean that they have just a one-point lead over the Swedes, and France has no room for error if they want to avoid a qualification playoff. André Silva then consolidated their lead with a 57th minute strike.

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Elsewhere, Greece took their place in the play-offs with a convincing 4-0 win over minnows Gibraltar in Group H, and left Slovakia - who had finished runners-up to England in Group F - as the unfortunate second-placed nation with the fewest points.

Belgium's Eden Hazard scored twice and his brother Thorgan also got on the scoresheet in a 4-0 win over Cyprus in Brussels.

Eden Hazard opened the scoring in the 12th minute with what was the only goal of the first half.

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