Quick Links

    footballnext News
    • 0
    • 0

    Insipid Portugal held to 0-0 draw by Macedonia

    Leiria, Portugal: Portugal lacked fire and flair and were held to 0-0 at home by Macedonia on Saturday in a warm-up match for the European Championship.

    Portugal's rare goal threats came mostly from Cristiano Ronaldo's long-range efforts, but the captain had little support and couldn't break down Macedonia's packed defence on his own. Nani's late entrance upped the pace, but Portugal still lacked a spark.

    Portugal also drew their previous friendly against Poland in February.

    Careless defence early in the second half almost cost the Portuguese as home fans jeered their team's dull performance. Goran Pandev escaped his marker inside the Portuguese area soon after the restart but lost the ball. In the 57th Vance Sikov headed over the bar unchallenged.

    Portugal will play against Germany, the Netherlands and Demark in Group B at the Euro 2012 next month.

    Portugal coach Paulo Bento handed rare starts to Rolando at centreback and Ruben Micael in midfield, with Ricardo Quaresma taking Nani's usual place on the flank.

    None of them impressed as Portugal failed to break the monotonous game.

    Ronaldo's first attempt came in the 10th, with a trademark thundering free kick that skimmed the crossbar. His low drive from just outside the area in the 25th skidded wide of Martin Bogatinov's right post, and five minutes before half-time the Real Madrid forward struck a dipping free kick that Bogatinov scrambled to cover.


    Portugal: Beto; Joao Pereira (Nelson Oliveira 80), Rolando, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao; Miguel Veloso (Hugo Viana 72), Joao Moutinho (Raul Meireles 45), Ruben Micael (Nani 62); Ricardo Quaresma, Helder Postiga (Helder Postiga 62), Cristiano Ronaldo (Silvestre Varela 74) .

    Macedonia: Martin Bogatinov; Vance Sikov, Nikolce Noveski, Boban Grncarov, Jani Urdinov; Stefan Spirovski (Agim Ibraimi 55), Nikola Gligorov, Stefan Ristovski; Samir Fazli, Ivan Trickovski (Mohamed Demiri 55), Goran Pandev.