Portugal Grind Out for Draw


Bosnia 0-0 Portugal

The Portuguese National team is one step closer to qualifying for Euro 2012 after a hard-fought 0-0 draw in Bosnia on Friday. The team will now rally for a victory on Tuesday in Lisbon, on a much better pitch than the one used on Friday. Concerns had been raised about the quality of the Bosnian field, and those concerns were certainly valid, as the pitch played a role, albeit minor, in the outcome of the match.

The game started in Portugal’s favor after Raul Meireles connected with his volley, only for the Bosnian goalkeeper to punch away at the near post. The team was relying mainly on aerial passes, most likely due to the state of the playing surface, and their strategy was winning them chances. Coentrao sent in a lofted ball, which found Joao Moutinho, whose clever header teed-up Helder Postiga for a volley, which he rocketed over. Ronaldo then spurned two good chances, once with a blocked right-foot shot, and the other a free-kick that sailed over the goal. Overall, the first half was one way traffic as Portugal looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

In the second half, however, Bosnia began to flex their muscles. The home team had a number of chances to open the scoring, and would have, if it were not for the excellent Pepe and Bruno Alves. The center-backs were immense during the entire match, especially during the second half. Portugal had their own set of chances in the second half, with none of them amounting to anything. The pitch had much to do with the low scoreline, as it hindered many a shot.

Man of the match: Pepe

Crutch of the match: Joao Moutinho

Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Fabio Coentrao, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Raul Meireles(Ruben Micael), Joao Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Nani, Ronaldo, Helder Postiga(Hugo Almeida)

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