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    Portugal unlucky to lose against Russia: Alves

    Moscow: Portugal were the better team and were unfortunate to lose to Russia in their World Cup qualifying defeat in Moscow, defender Bruno Alves has said.

    The visitors dominated possession but Alexander Kerzhakov's early goal decided the match on Friday and put Russia top of Group F, three points clear of second-placed Portugal.

    "It was a good game. Portugal dominated most parts of the game and Russia just scored from the counter-attack," Alves said.

    "Sometimes the better team doesn't win and today it was about this."

    Alves joked that he now dreaded his return to many of his Russian teammates at Zenit St. Petersburg.

    "The guys will speak against me because of this victory," he said.

    Portugal must play better to beat Northern Ireland in their next match Tuesday.

    "I think it will be a strong game with a difficult opponent, but I think we can improve out football and win this game," he said.

    Alves has 55 caps for Portugal and has played for Zenit since 2010.