Due to injury, Ruben Micael and Hugo Almeida have had to pull out of the Portugal squad ahead of the team’s upcoming match against Ecuador. Called to replace them is Andre Gomes and Nelson Oliveira. The inclusion of Andre Gomes is an interesting one from Portugal National Team coach Paulo Bento. Gomes has broken into Benfica’s first team this season, and a string of positive performances have even merited a starting spot ahead of other very talented midfielders in the team. Despite this, Gomes has never represented the Portugal U-21 team. This is quite a jump.
Besiktas to Sevilla, Palermo, or Juventus?
Multiple clubs are chasing Besiktas striker Hugo Almeida, according to reports coming out of Portugal. Though he doesn’t seem interested in a move away, clubs such as Sevilla, Palermo, and now Juventus are all reportedly chasing the striker. One source suggests that Palermo is willing to pay as much as seven million euros for Almeida. Hugo is reportedly happy at the Turkish club at the moment, and is enjoying a good season, having scored eight goals in only ten appearances thus far.
Gabon 2-2 Portugal
In what turned into quite a strange game, Portugal left the African continent with only a tie against Gabon. Pizzi and Hugo Almeida both scored for the Seleccao, but the team was unable to come away with a victory against their African opposition. Many November friendlies are rarely taken seriously. These friendlies are mainly concerned with testing new players into the national team setup, which may result in sub-par results. This, along with questionable refereeing, heat, and an uneven pitch, is what happened against Gabon.
The game started in a choppy fashion, with both teams attempting to find their feet. Gabon appeared to find theirs first, most likely due to being used to the heat and their home pitch. Only an inaccurate shot spared Portugal’s blushes in the 26th minute, as Gabon came extremely close to scoring. Gabon got their goal soon after, however. The ball was crossed in, and a clumsy tackle from Silvio brought down a Gabonese player, although the contact looked to be minimal. Nevertheless, the referee awarded a penalty, which Gabon slotted past Beto to make the score 1-0 in their favor, and stun Portugal. Portugal was stunned into action, and responded immediately. Eder was pulled down in the box, and the referee did not hesitate to award a penalty for Portugal, just two minutes after Gabon’s. Debutant Pizzi stepped up confidently, and easily slotted the ball past the Gabonese goalkeeper to level the scores. Not much more happened before halftime, and Portugal went into the locker room wondering what was happening.
Soon after the restart, Bruno Alves came close from a speculative long-range cross-shot, but nothing came of it. Portugal continued to press, and were rewarded on the hour mark. A neat one-two between Nelson and Varela left the former to square the ball to the wide-open Hugo Almeida, who tapped the ball into the empty net. But alas, Portugal’s woes were far from done. Gabon scored less than 10 minutes later, to level the scores at 2-2. From then on out, it was one-way Gabonese traffic, with the hosts controlling the flow of the game, as Portugal stepped off the gas due their large number of substitutions.
Beto, Nelson, Ricardo Costa, Pepe(Bruno Alves), Silvio, Custodio(Helder Barbosa), Joao Moutinho(Hugo Viana), Ruben Micael(Ruben Amorim), Varela(Paulo Machado), Pizzi, Eder(Hugo Almeida)
Javi Garcia’s departure to Manchester City has opened up a hole in Benfica’s midfield. Garcia had made that position his own over the three seasons he spent at the club, amassing well over 100 appearances in all competitions. He had established himself as one of the club’s most important players, and his presence will surely be missed. With the transfer occurring very close to the end of the transfer window, Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has not had enough time to search for a suitable replacement. Because of this, Jesus must draw from some of the team’s (very talented) Portuguese youngsters. Andre Gomes and Andre Almeida are the two most likely to be chosen to fill this void.
Andre Almeida is a name that many who follow the Portugal game will be familiar with. Almeida began his career at Belenenses, initially playing for the U-19 team, before making his senior team debut just after he turned 18. Belenenses have long been known to have nurtured some of the most talented Portuguese of recent years. Some notable graduates include Rolando, Ruben Amorim, Bruno Pereirinha, and Goncalo Brandao. Almeida’s influence on the field increased, as he established himself as one of the club, and the league’s, greatest prospects. He soon became a regular for the Portugal U-21 team, where has has amassed over a dozen appearances. These performances caught the eye of Liga Zon Sagres giants Benfica, and club purchased the midfielder on a free transfer, immediately sending him on loan to Leiria. A successful loan period was ended midway through the season after he was recalled by his parent club. Back at Benfica, made three substitute appearances, both as a right-back and in the holding midfield position. This season, he began on the B team, but has already made the move back up to the main team. After the departure of Javi Garcia, Andre Almeida looks to play second-fiddle to either Nemanja Matic at defensive midfield, or to Maxi Pereira at right-back.
Andre Gomes first came to prominence this summer after impressive performances for the Portugal Under-19 team at the U-19 European Championships. Portugal was unlucky enough to have the two finalists in their group, but performed well nevertheless. Gomes earned plaudits for his play in the group, most notably scoring against Spain and Greece, the two finalists. As a result, the then-18 year old was called to play for Benfica’s B team in the Liga Orangina. Having previously played for Benfica’s youth teams, the move to the Liga Orangina would certainly be a huge one. The midfielder made an instant impact, however. On the opening day, he scored a wonderful long-range shot in the dying minutes to salvage a draw against Braga’s B team. Not too long after, Gomes had established himself as one of the team’s most important players. Now, with Benfica’s midfield stretched thin, Jorge Jesus has promoted him to the senior team. He has already debuted for the club in their 1-1 friendly draw with Real Betis.
Jorge Jesus has a decision to make: Andre Almeida or Andre Gomes. Both are players for the future, yet Andre Almeida is more polished and experienced at the moment. It will be interesting to see who gets the nod, and I predict that Andre Almeida will be utilized mainly as a right-back, and Andre Gomes as a holding midfielder.
Portugal 2-0 Panama
Two finely-taken goals, one from Cristiano Ronaldo, and the other from Nelson Oliveira, sealed a 2-0 win over an inferior Panama side. Portugal had chances aplenty, but had a hard time finishing off those chances, with Hugo Almeida particularly suspect. Nevertheless, the Seleccao’s play oozed class, and the performance was encouraging.
The game started off brightly for the hosts. Joao Moutinho was the first to have a shot at goal. The live-wire midfielder cut the ball onto his left foot, but couldn’t keep his shot low enough. The deadlock was broken twenty minutes later. Young striker Nelson Oliveira received a pass from Miguel Lopes, side-stepped multiple Panama defenders, and unleashed a left-footed shot into the upper left-hand corner of the goal. With the score 1-0 in Portugal’s favor, the team continued to press. Oliveira and Ronaldo both tested the Panama goalkeeper with deft efforts, and were unlucky to have not scored. The opposition goalkeeper was proving to be the hero for his team, and after he parried an excellent Nani shot, he was looking better by the minute. The first half ended that way, at 1-0.
The second half started perfectly for the Seleccao. Raul Meireles lobbed a ball for Ronaldo, who chested down the pass, and unleashed a fierce volley into the bottom right-hand corner. It was what we have come to expect from the second-best player in the world, but it was nevertheless impressive. With the score at 2-0, Portugal still continued to press the opposition. Rolando had a brilliant header saved by Panama’s goalkeeper. Then came the Hugo Almeida farce show. Minutes after Rolando’s header, a header from Ricardo Costa was saved by the opposition goalkeeper, who parried it directly into Hugo Almeida’s path. Somehow, Almeida whiffed the ball, and it rolled slowly out for a goal kick. It was disappointing from the striker, and he failed to put away a further chance later in the game, sending his header well wide of the Panama goal. That was how the game ended: 2-0.
Eduardo(Beto), Miguel Lopes, Rolando, Ricardo Costa, Fabio Coentrao, Hugo Viana(Ruben Micael), Joao Moutinho(Carlos Martins), Raul Meireles(Miguel Veloso), Nani, Ronaldo(Varela), Nelson Oliveira(Hugo Almeida)
There were many Portuguese players involved last week in the opening Group stage games of this season’s Europa League. Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Helder Barbosa, and Vieirinha were the ones who caught the headlines, so here is the entire coverage of every Portuguese player in the Europa League.
PAOK’s 0-0 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur put the two teams tied for second place. Vieirinha played a full 90 minutes and was one of the game’s brightest players, according to Goal.com. The winger has been in fine form for the Greek team over the past couple of years, and many have called for a Senior Team debut. It hasn’t happened yet, but it surely will in the future.
Many were surprised when Hannover 96 drew Standard Liege at home 0-0. With the German team one of the favorites to win the group, the 0-0 draw came as quite a surprise. Sergio Pinto started and played for 75 minutes, while Carlitos is still out injured.
Rapid Bucharesti took away a narrow win from Israel after they defeated Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 to secure top spot in the group. Rui Duarte played the entire match, and Filipe Teixeira came on in the dying minutes.
Hugo Luz was nowhere to be seen for Valusi in their 2-2 draw with Italian giants Lazio.
There were, however, five Portuguese players involved in the Sporting Lisbon-Zurich encounter. Sporting ended the game winners after scoring two unanswered goals in the first half. Jorge Teixeira played the full 90 minutes for Zurich. For Sporting, Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, and (surprisingly) Bruno Pereirinha played the entire game. Andre Santos was substituted in on the hour mark.
The Portuguese contingent was strong for Besiktas as they recorded a thumping 5-1 victory over Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Simao, and Quaresma all started for the Turkish team. Hugo Almeida picked up a brace, Quaresma an assist, and Manuel Fernandes two assists. Bebe looks set to miss at least the first half of the season with an injury, and Julio Alves was nowhere to be seen.
Yago Fernandez was an unused substitute in Malmo’s 4-1 away loss to AZ.
Four Portuguese players were involved in Braga’s 3-1 win over Championship side Birmingham. Quim, Hugo Viana, Nuno Gomes, and Helder Barbosa all started for the Portuguese team. Quim and Hugo Viana played the entire game with Nuno Gomes and Helder Barbosa being substituted out in the 73rd and 89th minute, respectively. Helder Barbosa continued his fine form with a brace, and was certainly Braga’s finest players on the night.
Tiago played the last six minutes for Atletico Madrid as they defeated Celtic 2-0. Pizzi was an unused substitute, while Silvio was nowhere to be seen.
Geraldo Alves, brother of Julio and Bruno Alves, played a full 90 minutes for Steaua Bucharesti as they drew Schalke 0-0.
Orlando Sa was an unused substitute for Fulham in their 1-1 draw with Dutch giants Twente. Orlando Sa has also been handed the heralded “number 9″ jersey at Fulham.
Following their 3-2 win over Zenit, Lokomotiv Moscow defeated Sturm Graz 2-1 away from home. Manuel da Costa was nowhere to be seen for the Russian side.
Following their Euro 2013 qualifier on Thursday, Portuguese U-21 coach Rui Jorge made some changes to the squad that is set to take on France on September 5th. Mario Rui, Nuno Reis, Julio Alves, David Simao, Caetano, Salvador Agra have all been called up in place of Ivo Pinto, Vitor Bastos, Andre Almeida, Diogo Viana, Ricardo Martins, and Abel Camara. Of the players drafted into the squad, David Simao is the only one who has any sort of experience with the U-21 team. The remaining five are just off Portugal’s best display at a U-20 World Cup for a long time.
Euro 2012 Qualification Group H
Cyprus 0-4 Portugal
Portugal look to be on the right track in Euro 2012 qualification after a comprehensive 4-0 win over “minnows” Cyprus. Minnows is exactly what everyone thought they were this time last year, before the two teams met. That game ended 4-4, much to the surprise of everyone. Now, with a new (and much better) coach, we waltzed to a comfortable 4-0 victory. The game started off well, with Joao Pereira and Pepe coming close just minutes after the game commenced. The deadlock was broken on 34 minutes, when a Cyprus defender handled the ball in the area. The referee awarded a penalty, which Ronaldo slotted away with ease. The two teams soon after went into the locker rooms at half time, with the score at a comfortable 1-0 for Portugal. The Portuguese came out in the second half slightly on the backfoot, with Cyprus looking stronger. Portugal silenced any whispers of a Cyprus comeback when Ronaldo played a one-two with Nani, juked out a defender, and finished strongly with his left foot to make it 2-0. That goal is Ronaldo’s sixth under coach Paulo Bento’s one-year reign to date, as compared to just two he scored in the two-year Carlos Quieroz era. Just a couple minutes later, Portugal scored again, this time through Hugo Almeida. Ronaldo broke free on the left and cut the ball back for Almeida, who finish was as simple as they come. But the scoring didn’t end there. Portugal added to Cyprus’s misery once more when Danny broke free on the left, out-muscled a defender, and slotted the ball away coolly to make the final score 4-0.
Rui Patricio, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Joao Pereira, Fabio Coentrao, Raul Meireles, Nani (Danny), Joao Moutinho, Ruben Micael (Miguel Veloso), Ronaldo, Helder Postiga (Hugo Almeida)
Due to the recent injury of Bebe, Besiktas are now looking at Braga’s young winger, Pizzi, as his replacement. Bebe joined Besiktas on loan from Manchester United, where he had failed to make the grade, but a recent injury has ruled him out for six months. Besiktas now move their attention to Pizzi, who shone for Pacos Ferreira last season. Pizzi is now with Braga’s first team, with a starting spot likely. According to reports in Portugal, the required fee is around 5 million euros. If the move does materialize, Pizzi will join up with fellow Portuguese players Simao, Bebe, Hugo Almeida, and Manuel Fernandes.
It is official. Hugo Almeida will ply his trade in Turkey at Besiktas. Almeida has been surrounded with speculation regarding his future. Real Madrid, Juventus, Besiktas, and Lazio have all stated their interest, but in the end, Besiktas have come out victorious. Besiktas have announced the signings of Manuel Fernandes, and Simao, all of whom will join Quaresma in the Turkish capital. Almeida signed a 3 and a half year contract, for a fee estimated around 2-3 million euros.
It is looking unlikely that Hugo Almeida, who has been in the middle of speculation regarding his future at Werder Bremen, will remain at Werder past the January transfer window. Besiktas, Juventus, Lazio, and Real Madrid are all said to be interested. Though the Real Madrid move looks unlikely and the Besiktas move has been played down by Almeida, no moves are ruled out. Bremen have tried to no avail to give Almeida a new contract, but the two parties cannot come to an agreement. Besiktas are reportedly interested in signing the burly striker, but Almeida himself has ruled out the move. Edy Reja, the manager at Italian club, Lazio, has stated that he would love to add Almeida to his squad.
A move to Besiktas would be the most beneficial, in my opinion, due to the fact that strikers of his build tend to flourish in Turkey (i.e. Makukula). Almeida knows how to score, and due to his lack of speed, a move to Lazio may be beneficial also. The only concern I have in regards to that move is the fact that the last Portuguese player to play at Lazio did not have the best of times (Elsieu).
Hugo Almeida, who is currently locked in contract negotiations at Werder Bremen, is reportedly ‘proud’. Almeida has not been contacted by the club, according to him, but he is still proud, nevertheless, of the interest. Real are searching for a replacement for Higuain, who will be out injured for some time. Panathinaikos and Lazio are also interested.
Former Porto, Werder Bremen, and Juventus midfielder Diego has laid heaps of praise on Portugal National Team and Werder Bremen striker Hugo Almeida. Diego, who currently plays for Wolfsburg, is glad that Almeida is not to play when Wolfsburg and Bremen meet this weekend. “Hugo Almeida is one of the best strikers in the league,” stated the Brazilian. Almeida is currently under speculation regarding a move away from Bremen this winter, with Lazio, Juventus, and Real Madrid all interested.
Three words describe how I feel: In Your Face. I don’t want to sound aggressive, so I am sorry if I come across that way. I have a friend who is an avid Spain fan. He always gives me grief after the Seleccao under-perform. So, as you can gather, I was quite giddy with this win. What Portugal fan wasn’t? This was quite possibly the greatest performance from the Portuguese National Team. The game started off well, with Portugal enjoying most of the ball. Portugal showed quite a will to win, something that Spain did not show. That was the difference. As stated earlier, Portugal started off well, and were the first to make the difference. Too bad it didn’t count. Carlos Martins fed the ball to Ronaldo, who was allowed space to run. Ronaldo easily tricked Pique(I think) and after producing another neat step-over, lobbed the ball to the goal. The ball was about to go in when Nani flew in and headed it into the goal. The linesman incorrectly said that Nani was offside when Ronaldo lobbed the ball, and the goal did not count. This was a huge disappointment, but it was also a sign of thing to come. The first goal duly came soon after wards after Carlos Martins played Ronaldo to the corner. After the Real Madrid man juked-out the Spanish player, his shot was punched away by Casillas. Helder Postiga redirected the rebound to the onrushing Carlos Martins, who made no mistakes with his finish. With Portugal continuing to dominate, they added a second just minutes later. Good movement between Raul Meireles, Joao Moutinho, and Joao Pereira left Moutinho clear in the box. He squared the ball to Helder Postiga, who cleverly backheeled the ball into the back of the net. That was how it ended for the first half. Spain were threatening, but they were also finding it difficult to weather the storm that was Portugal’s attack. The second half started well, and Helder Postiga added another goal to Portugal’s tally after Moutinho smartly back-heeled the ball to him. Spain were in a state of shock, but were still not playing with any conviction. It looked as if Portugal were going to walk away with a comfortable 3-0 victory, but after Pepe played Almeida through in stoppage time, the scoreline was increased to a staggering 4-0. That was how it ended. Both Portuguese and Spanish fans alike were astounded. This victory will go down as one of the Seleccao’s most famous. Spain, who are World champions, were just beaten by four goals to nil. That’s right Portuguese fans, bask in it.
Eduardo(Rui Patricio), Bosingwa, Joao Pereira, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Carvalho(Pepe), Joao Moutinho, Raul Meireles, Carlos Martins(Manuel Fernandes), Nani(Paulo Machado), Helder Postiga(Hugo Almeida), Ronaldo(Danny)
Rui Patricio and Paulo Machado also made their debuts for the Portuguese Senior Team.
Old transfer news that we thought were buried are starting to come to the surface. Here’s the latest:
Zenit defender Fernando Meira, who has recently fallen out of favor at the club, is reportedly a transfer target for Italian club Lazio. Lazio are looking to build on their positive start to the Serie A this season by reinforcing their defense.
Bayern Munich are after Portuguese right back Bosingwa once again. The German club are looking for an alternative to Lahm, as there are no other players capable of playing right-back.
With the arrival of Jesualdo Ferreira at Panathinaikos, Hugo Almeida has stated that he interested in a possible reunion with Ferreira at the Greek club. Speculation has been high with Almeida’s contract set to expire, and the striker has stated that he is open to the move. The move would have him join fellow Portuguese Daniel Fernandes. Sporting Lisbon and Valencia are also said to be interested.
News keeps pouring in from across Portugal regarding transfer rumors for the next transfer window. Here’s the latest:
Werder Bremen striker Hugo Almeida is apparently in negotiations with Valencia over a proposed transfer to the Mestalla this January. Almeida, whose contract expires in January, is the ideal target for the Spanish club, who is in need of strikers. Valencia officials hope to get Almeida on a free transfer.
Let’s see…First Bayern, then Liverpool, then Chelsea, then A.C. Milan, now Barcelona. It’s no wonder that these big clubs are following the winger given his performances for Benfica and Portugal. Just think… A year and a half ago, Coentrao was a doubt to even make the Benfica first team. Now, he is a starter for the Portuguese National Team and one of Benfica’s key players. Coentrao, however, is not prepared to leave.
Vitoria Guimaraes midfielder Joao Ribeiro, who was recently called up to the National Team, is on Fulham’s wish-list. Ribeiro has been in top form for Guimaraes, and it has apparently not gone unnoticed. The midfielder is thought to be valued at around 4.5 million euros, a price that Fulham is willing to pay. Ribeiro was bought for free from Academica this summer, so a 4.5 million dollar profit doesn’t sound too bad, does it? CSKA is also apparently chasing the 22 year-old. No more information on that bit, unfortunately.
An uncharacteristically poor defensive showing left the Seleccao in a poor position in their Euro 2012 qualification group after a 4-4 draw against minnows Cyprus. At least, we thought they were minnows. Cyprus started the night off well with a goal from Anoleftis after some horrible defending from Miguel. Hugo Almeida got the game going for Portugal just five minutes later when he headed in a pin-point Nani cross. Konstantinou then put Cyprus back in front after taking advantage of a mistake from Raul Meireles to slot home past Eduardo. Portugal were then level after Raul Meireles sent a low left-foot drive past the Cyproit goalkeeper. That is how Portugal went into the locker room, level with Cyprus at 2-2. Portugal’s attack had been fluent, even if it was unorganized, but their defense was unorganized and chaotic, with Miguel and Meireles to blame for the first and second goals, respectively. Portugal walked out of the locker room knowing that they would have to step up if they were going to even have a chance of winning. Portugal did step up, with Quaresma proving his worth with a series of surging runs. Portugal got off to a great start after Danny headed in from a Coentrao cross to make the score 3-2 Portugal. But of course, Cyprus scored again. This time, a perfect defense-splitting ball was enough to send Okkas one-on-one with Eduardo, and the Cypriot player made no mistake in his finish. Portugal had something else to say, though. Quaresma took the corner kick, which was headed straight into the path of the on-rushing Manuel Fernandes, who hammered the ball into the upper left hand corner of the net. Sadly, it wouldn’t end that way. Avraam scored the late equalizer to give Cyprus a well-deserved 4-4 draw against Portugal.
Final score – Portugal 4-4 Cyprus
Portugal – Eduardo, Miguel, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Carvalho, Fabio Coentrao, Manuel Fernandes (Joao Moutinho, 79), Raul Meireles, Danny (Liedson, 61), Nani, Hugo Almeida (Yannick, 89), Ricardo Quaresma
Danny was the man of the match as Portugal crushed their African opposition 3-0 on Tuesday. This was the final test for the Seleccao before their first World Cup match on June 15th against the Ivory Coast. The first half looked much the same as their goalless draw against Cape Verde just two weeks earlier. News had come in before the game that Nani would miss the World Cup due to injury, so there was a slight sadness in the air. Danny, however, filled the void exceptionally well, putting in a man-of-the-match performance, scoring one and assisting another.
The first goal came after halftime as Danny latched on the a perfect Deco through-ball, took it around the keeper, and finished in the open net. Danny was involved in the second goal also. Fabio Coentrao played the Zenit man through, who teed Hugo Almeida up perfectly for the goal. The third goal came late in the game when Ronaldo’s shot was puched by the keeper right to Almeida who made no mistakes in finishing.
Eduardo, Miguel, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Carvalho, Fabio Coentrao, Pedro Mendes (Pepe), Raul Meireles (Miguel Veloso), Deco (Tiago), Simao (Ronaldo), Liedson (Hugo Almeida), Danny (Duda)
Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz released a 24-man squad for next month’s World Cup. Due to Pepe’s questionable fitness, Queiroz released a 24-man list instead of the official 23-man list, so that if Pepe is deemed unfit, he can drop him, or if Pepe turns out to be ready, Ze Castro or Ricardo Costa can be dropped. Surprise inclusions are Beto, Daniel Fernandes, Ze Castro, and Ricardo Costa. Moutinho was not included in the squad most likely due to his mediocre season.
Here’s the list:
Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Braga), Beto (FC Porto) Daniel Fernandes (Iraklis)
Defenders: Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Miguel (Valencia), Fabio Coentrao (Benfica), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Bruno Alves (FC Porto), Ricardo Costa (Lille), Rolando (FC Porto), Pepe (Real Madrid), Duda (Malaga) Ze Castro (Deportivo)
Midfielders: Tiago (Atletico Madrid), Deco (Chelsea), Raul Meireles (FC Porto), Miguel Veloso (Sporting), Pedro Mendes (Sporting), Danny (Zenit St Peterburg)
Wingers/Forwards: Simao Sabrosa (Atletico Madrid), Nani (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Liedson (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen)
Queiroz also released a list of 6 reserves, just in case any of the players in the squad of 23 get injured. Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Amorim, Manuel Fernandes, Eliseu and Makukula all have an outside chance of playing in the World Cup after being included in this list.
Portugal edged China on Wednesday, with the typical great first-half showing, and the abysmal second-half showing. Goals were scored by Hugo Almeida and Liedson. Porto winger Varela debuted for the Seleccao, who were sporting their brand-spanking-new World Cup away jerseys. Henrique Hilario also made his national team debut, coming on for Eduardo.
Portugal started off the game looking confident, with Nani and Almeida both coming close to breaking the deadlock, but just after the 30 minute mark, Cristiano Ronaldo won the ball at half-line, and threaded his pin-point pass to Hugo Almeida, who blasted it into the back of the net. Soon after, Duda’s beautifully taken free-kick ricocheted off of the crossbar. Portugal were not really searching for that second goal. The second half was hard to watch. Due to all of the substitutions, Portugal failed to really find their flow, and with Tiago having been substituted out, Joao Moutinho and Raul Meireles were not filling the void well. The best chance of the second half fell to Raul Meireles, who sent his powerful shot into the post after some nice wing play from Varela left him with a shot. With the final minutes ticking away, it looked as if the score would stay at 1-0. In the 94th minute, however, a Raul Meireles corner kick was headed to Moutinho, whose long shot was deflected into the goal by Liedson, making the final score 2-0 Portugal.
Overall it was a decent showing, but Portugal have a lot of work to do if they wish to advance out of their World Cup group.
Eduardo (Hilario, 46), Paulo Ferreira, Rolando, Bruno Alves (Tonel, 63), Duda (Miguel, 46), Raul Meireles, Tiago (Pedro Mendes, 46), Simao (Joao Moutinho, 46), Cristiano Ronaldo (Liedson, 46), Hugo Almeida, Nani (Varela, 62)
1. Siena 1-1 Cagliari – Goncalo Brandao played a full 90 minutes
2. Inter 1-0 Milan – Quaresma nowhere to be seen
1. Valladolid 0-3 Barcelona – Pele substituted in on the 73rd minute
2. Deportivo 3-1 Bilbao – Ze Castro surprisingly nowhere to be seen
3. Tenerife 0-0 Valencia – Manuel Fernandes nowhere to be seen, but Miguel played 77 minutes
4. Villareal 4-2 Zaragoza – Eliseu played the full match and Scored
5. Espanyol 1-1 Mallorca – Nunes nowhere to be seen, but Bruno China played the last 14 minutes
6. Getafe 1-0 Atletico Madrid – Simao played the full match, with Tiago playing the last half
7. Real Madrid 0-0 Malaga – Pepe still out injured, Ronaldo scored a brace, but was issued a red card on the 70th minute. Duda played the full match for Malaga.
1. Manchester United 4-0 Hull City – Nani played the full match and did not dissapoint.
1. Werder Bremen 2-3 Bayern Munich – Hugo Almeida played the whole game and scored.
2. Mainz 1-0 Hannover – Sergio Pinto started and played 60 minutes.
3. Wolfsburg 2-3 Koln – Ricardo Costa played a full match and scored, Maniche and Petit both started for Koln, with Maniche being substituted out in the 90th minute.
France(games on Wednesday)
1. Marsielle 2-1 Le Mans – Joao Paulo played a full match
2. Lens 0-1 Montpellier – Marco Ramos played a full match
3. Toulouse 0-0 Nancy – Paulo Machado started and played 73 minutes
1. Hibernian 5-1 Hamilton – Flavio and Marco both started for Hamilton, but Marco only played 69 minutes, with Flavio scoring a goal
2. Rangers 1-1 Hearts – Jose Goncalves and Pedro Mendes nowhere to be seen for their respective clubs.
3. Falkirk 1-4 Dundee – Lima and Pele both started and played a full match for Falkirk, with Pedro Moutinh0 playing the last half of the game and scoring
4. St. Johnstone 1-4 Celtic – Filipe Morais nowhere to be seen for Johnstone
Greece – 1. Olympiakos 0-1 PAOK – Edinho scored his first goal for PAOK.
2. Larissa 2-1 Iraklis – Daniel Fernandes played the full match for Iraklis
Turkey – Kayserispor 1-1 Genclerbirgili – Makukula scored for Kayserispor