The Seleccao succumbed to a late Eden Ben Basat goal after a mistake from goalkeeper Rui Patricio, meaning that a draw for Russia in Azerbaijan on Tuesday will be enough to see them clinch top spot in Group F after they beat Luxembourg 4-0. While Portugal can still mathematically snatch the automatic spot away from Fabio Capello’s men, Ronaldo conceded his side are almost certain to be facing another play-off for a major tournament, having also navigated the process to reach World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012. “It’s not a drama to be in the play-offs,” the 28-year-old told A Bola. “It’s become normal, it’s not a surprise because that’s what has happened to us in recent years. “[Automatic qualification] is mathematically possible but not up to us. We must be content to play the play-off. “Hopefully, we’ll now get a bit of luck and not get a complicated team. The only team I wouldn’t like to face is France.” Portugal spurned a number of chances before Patricio’s kick landed straight at the feet of Ben Basat for an easy equaliser, with head coach Paulo Bento refusing to place sole blame on his goalkeeper for the result. “Mistakes are made collectively,” Bento said after the match. “In the second half we started just as well but after 10 minutes we had more difficulties to move the ball, we were more inaccurate and ended up penalised for a situation that can happen. “We tried to react but more with the heart, using a more direct game that we are not prepared for. “We ended up being penalised for a mistake.” FC Barcelona – Real Madrid CF Real Madrid CF – Juventus
France pledges more troops to Central Africa
(AP Photo/LM Otero) In this file photo of Jan. 17, 2013, Yoko Ono, left, and her son Sean Lennon visit a fracking site in Franklin Forks, Pa., during a bus tour of natural-gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania. Ono and Lennon have formed a group called Artists Against Fracking, which has become the main celebrity driven anti-fracking organization. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) In this March 29, 2013 file photo, a worker checks a dipstick to check water levels and temperatures in a series of tanks at a hydraulic fracturing operation at a gas drilling site outside Rifle, Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) In this March 29, 2013 file photo, a worker switches well heads during a short pause in the water pumping phase, at the site of a natural gas hydraulic fracturing and extraction operation outside Rifle, in western Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) In this March 29, 2013 file photo, workers tend to a well head during a hydraulic fracturing operation at a gas well outside Rifle, in western Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) Josh Fox, director of the anti-fracking, Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland testifies during a House Committee hearing on oil drilling, “fracking” legislation at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) This is a Thursday Aug. 15, 2013 image of the Cuadrilla exploration drilling site in Balcombe, southeast England. (AP Photo/Gareth Fuller/PA) A child plays near a farmers’ protest in an area where oil company Chevron plans to put a drilling rig exploring for shale gas in the south-eastern Polish village of Zurawlow on June 11, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI Protesters hold a banner during a protest outside of the Momentive resin plant, Monday, July 8, 2013, in Morganton, N.C. Dozens of environmental activists blocked a chemical plant Monday to protest against the company’s sale of products used in the natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. (AP Photo/The News Herald, Mary Elizabeth Robertson) A drilling rig exploring for shale gas of oil company Chevron on June 11, 2013 in a village of Ksiezomierz in south-eastern Poland. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI People demonstrate on August 3, 2013 in La Petite Brosse, near Jouarre, outside Paris, to protest against an exploratory oil shale drilling, considering that it opens the door to the exploration of shale gas in the Parisian Basin.
France Fracking Ban Upheld After Challenge From Energy Giant
Laurent Fabius travelled to Bangui with Europe’s top aid official to boost his campaign for increased international involvement in efforts to end the chaos that has engulfed the country this year. “We currently have 410 men. As UN resolutions are passed, we will lend a hand with logistics in particular and boost” the French troop presence, he said after meeting Central African President Michel Djotodia. “This will most likely be achieved by the end of the year,” Fabius said. Diplomats have told AFP that the former colonial power could boost its contingent to up to 1,200 troops, in support of a small pan-African peacekeeping force deployed in the country. French FM Laurent Fabius (L), European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid Western powers have reluctantly recognised Djotodia, the leader of the now disbanded Seleka rebel group that toppled Francois Bozize in March, as the country’s first Muslim president. In exchange, Djotodia has formed an inclusive government and pledged not to run in elections due to mark the end of an 18-month interim period in early 2015. “There has been a demand that the authorities organise free polls at the beginning of 2015 and not contest them,” he said. France has voiced concern that the Central African Republic (CAR), which sits on vast mineral wealth but remains one of the world’s poorest countries, risked becoming another Somali-style “failed state.” “We — France, the European Union and the United Nations — have decided to take up the challenge. We will not let you down, we will tackle this situation seriously,” Fabius said. A French soldier of the BOALI operation in the Central African Republic looks through his scope at a The impoverished landlocked country is a little larger than France but sparsely populated and Djotodia is facing the same difficulty as his predecessors in extending his authority beyond the capital. Chaos followed Bozize’s ouster and reports of widespread summary executions, looting and abuses against civilians spurred the international community into action.