LISBON, March 28 (Reuters) - Portugal face an uphill
struggle to reach the World Cup finals after wasting a host of
chances in a 0-0 qualifying draw with Sweden on Saturday.
With Group One's joint leaders Denmark and Hungary posting
away wins against Malta and Albania respectively, Portugal now
have little room for error and must turn their attacking
displays into victories to have any chance of progressing.
Denmark have 10 points from four matches, the same haul as
Hungary who have played a game more. Portugal and Sweden are
level on six points.
"We're frustrated after so much effort and a good display.
Unfortunately football is not for those who deserve it but for
those who win," said Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz.
"It's not over though we have to admit we are in a more
Portugal dominated the first half and came close to scoring
in the 17th minute when Tiago almost made the most of a bad back
pass to Sweden keeper Andreas Isaksson.
Tiago then supplied Cristiano Ronaldo on the right, only for
the winger's attempt to chip Isaksson to go wide.
Sweden had another escape in the 24th minute when Duda's
cross from the left wing hit the post after deceiving the
A flowing move on 43 minutes involving Ronaldo, Tiago and
Raul Meireles ended with Simao Sabrosa's volley going just wide
and Portugal suffered another blow moments later when defender
Jose Bosingwa limped off injured.
Danny continued Portugal's poor finishing in the second half
when he failed to hit the target after an excellent pass from
The visitors, missing striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic through
suspension, seemed to settle for a draw.
Sweden's best chance came on 55 minutes when Johan Elmander
forced Eduardo Carvalho into a close range save but they rarely
Playmaker Deco came on as a substitute after 62 minutes and
had two good chances to break the deadlock for Portugal when a
low drive was saved by Isaksson and a curling shot flew inches
"Portugal played better but we defended very well and you
could say we earned the draw," said Sweden coach Lars Lagerback.
"Of course I am satisfied with a point here. We still have
to play two games against Denmark so everything is open in this