Fonte and Portugal snatch 2018 FIFA World Cup spot

Jose Fonte in action against Switzerland on Tuesday evening


Jose Fonte and Portugal snatched a 2018 FIFA World Cup spot in dramatic fashion, defeating Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon to finish top of qualifying Group B.

The Swiss had won a perfect nine matches out of nine ahead of Tuesday evening's tie at the Stadium of Light, but relinquished an automatic passage to Russia.

Portugal's victory saw them and the Swiss finish level on 27 points out of a possible 30, but Fonte's nation ended the campaign with a +28 goal difference to Switzerland's +16.

A Johan Djourou own-goal put Portugal in front four minutes before half-time, before Andre Silva made the game safe with 12 minutes of the second half gone.

Fonte started alongside Pepe at centre-half as Portugal kept their seventh clean sheet in ten qualifiers, ensuring the UEFA Euro 2016 winners could add a maiden World Cup to the European title they secured last summer.

Portugal's victory means there could be as many as eleven West Ham players in Russia next year, with England quartet Joe Hart, Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll, Mexico's Chicharito, the Republic of Ireland's Declan Rice and Senegal pair Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho among those whose nations have either already qualified or are still in with a chance of doing so.

Chicharito will miss Mexico's final qualifier in Trinidad & Tobago overnight due to personal reasons, but his country have already secured top spot in the CONCACAF region.

Elsewhere, Manuel Lanzini's Argentina need results to go their way overnight to secure qualification from South America, where the fifth-placed nation will take on Winston Reid's New Zealand in a two-legged Intercontinental Play-Off.