Posted: 11/15/2013


         The Estadio da Luz was the setting tonight for CR7 v ZLATAN, and the boy from Madeira scored his 63rd goal of the year in the 82nd minute to give advantage to Portugal after the first leg of the FIFA World Cup play off in Lisbon.

         I had spend part of the afternoon at CAMP SWEDEN  in Terreiro do Paco-Palace Square where thousands of blue and gold HEJA SVERIGE fans had a party with live music, chanting, singing, drinking, face painting..and more drinking.

         The original palace here on the banks of the Tagus River was destroyed in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The square was completely made over in a U shape open to the river and on one side there are huge cafes which were entertaining the Swedes inside and out.

        On February 01, 1908 Carlos 1 and his heir were both assasinated there by two Republican party gunmen who were then shot on the spot by police. Two years later the Republicans overthrew the Portuguese monarchy.  There was no earthquakes or gunfire today.

       Earlier I had made a visit to Estadio Rossela, home of Belenenses with a fantastic view on a hill above the Tagus. It will host the UEFA Womens Championship Final next year, prior to the Men's Final at the Estadio da Luz. I showed up at the office and the media officer took me and opened the gates so that I could take photos inside.  Unlike Benfica or Sporting Lisbon they only attract about 3,000 fans to home matches in the same league.

      I took the AZUL-Blue Line to the stadium two hours early and it was quite chilly this evening. Inside was a party atmosphere with a few thousand Sverige fans stuck high up in the fourth tier of this magnicifent  enue, completely rebuilt for EURO 2004.

     The match was a bit of a damp squid. After the two captains, Zlatan No. 10 and Cristiano No. 7 exchanged pennants, neither could gain advantage with two well coached defences.  Just before the only goal of the night C. Ronaldo was shown a yellow card for a late tackle on Andreas Isaksson.

     It wasn't until the 20th minute that Ibrahimovic showed a dummy which allowed Elmander to pass to Seb Larssson whose shot was saved by Rui Patrico.

     The winning goal was from a cross by Miguel Veloso and Isaksson was slow off the mark and CR7 beat Martin Olsson to the ball to nod home from six yards out.

     Next Tuesday in Stockholm the Swedes and Zlatan will hope that their home advantage can take them to the promised land and Brazil 2014.