The World Cup playoffs represent a "last-chance saloon" for the participants in their quest for qualification for Brazil 2014.
They ended up battling against each other in an unfortunate quirk of fate which will deprive a worldwide audience of one of the world's best players in FIFA's premier international football tournament.
Let's take a look at who fared best in Friday night's first leg, which was won by Portugal 1-0 with Ronaldo scoring the only goal.
"We would have been very happy with a draw," said Sweden coach Erik Hamren afterward, as per BBC's Saj Chowdhury. "We played a good game defensively—the goal was unnecessary, we were careless with that cross."
Portugal manager Paulo Bento called the result, "an important step to reach the World Cup but not yet decisive."
All stats are supplied by whoscored.com.