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  Results & Reviews: Match 10


Portugal ends Russian hopes with 2-0 victory

Nuno Maniche's seventh-minute goal led Portugal to a 2-0 win over 10-man Russia on Wednesday, knocking the Russians out of Euro 2004.

In the 89th, substitue Rui Costa clinched the victory, stretching to kick in a close-in shot off a cross from fellow substitute Cristiano Ronaldo.

Maniche scored to delight green-and-red clad fans at Benfica's Stadium of Light, taking a perfect centering pass from Deco. Maniche swirled, shook off Russian Vadim Evseev, and fired into the corner from 12 meters (yards) to the left of Russian 'keeper Sergey Ovchinnikov.

Portugal now has three points from two games in Group A. Spain and Greece, which drew 1-1 earlier on Wednesday, have four and Russia has none which means it is the first team to go out.

In an Iberian showdown, Portugal faces Spain on Saturday in the final group match, and Greece faces Russia. The top two teams going to the quarterfinals.

Group A 16 June 2004 1945 CET

Luz, Lisbon Attendance 60,000


Maniche 7
Rui Costa 89
Russia (4-4-1-1) Ovchinnikov; Yevseyev, Smertin (c), Bugayev, Sennikov; Karyaka (Bulykin 79), Aldonin (Malafeyev 45), Alenichev, Loskov; Izmailov (Bystrov 72); Kerzhakov.
Portugal (4-5-1) Ricardo; Miguel, Jorge Andrade, Ricardo Carvalho, Nuno Valente; Costinha, Maniche, Figo (c) (Ronaldo 78), Deco, Simao (Rui Costa 63); Pauleta (Nuno Gomes 57).
Referee Terje Hauge (NOR)

Russia was unlucky in the 45th when Ovchinnikov was send off for handling the ball just outside the 18-yard (meter) line. The mistake looked unintentional with his hand seeming to barely brush the gall. But Norwegian referee Terje Hauge wasted no time sending him off.

"Ovchinnikov was 100 percent sure he didn't touch the ball. But it's not up to me to evaluate the referee," said Russia coach Georgy Yartsev. "Yesterday I told our federation preseident it would be tough to play the ambitious Portuguese team. Playing them with 10 men was even tougher. But I was impressed with my players. They showed they're a group of very talented youngsters with great future."

As Yevgeny Aldonin was being taken off and replaced by reserve 'keeper Viacheslav Malafeev, an unidentified fan ran halfway across the field before he was wrapped up near the Russian bench by a half-dozen security guards.

"We thought it would be easier against 10 men, but it was harder," said Portugal's Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "But winning by two or 10 goals is the same. We won."

"We've got to enjoy this win for now. Spain is a quality opponent."

After a disheartening 2-1 loss to Greece in the opening game, the quick goal gave the Portuguese confidence with sections of the stadium reserved for Russian fans nearly empty.

The Portuguese were continually on the attack after the opening goal, with forward Ricardo Carvalho picking up a yellow card for a rash tackle in the 24th minute.

Real Madrid winger Luis Figo was all over the pitch. In the 30th minute, he broke down the right side and delivered a perfect cross in the box that Pauleta missed heading home by inches.

With the man advantage, Portugal carried the play early in the second half. In the 56th Brazilian-born Deco troubled backup 'keeper Malafeev with a bouncing free kick from 30 meters (yards).

The Russians at times looked dangerous in attack despite having only 10 men, with Portugal always looking to counterattack.

In the 64th, Figo almost sealed the win. His shot from the left wing went off the fingertips of 'keeper Malafeev as he sprawled to stop it, with the ball striking the far post.

In the 74th, Malafeev dived to his left to stop a drive from Deco. Two minutes later, Malafeev dropped to his knees to stop a bouncing shot from Figo.

Portuguese coach Luiz Felipe Scolari made major changes from the lineup that faced Greece, bringing on Deco for Rui Costa and dropping captain Fernando Couto for Carvalho. FC Porto fullback Paulo Ferreira was dropped, replaced by Miguel of Benfica.

On the Russian side, Dmitry Loskov was brought into the center of midfield to replace Alexander Mostovoi, who was sent home for criticizing coach Georgy Yartsev.

"The absence of Mostovoi helped me reinvigorate the team," said Yartsev. "The entire squad stood behind me."

Alexei Bugayev took the place of the suspended Roman Sharonov in the middle of defense, and Alexander Kerzhakov was brought in as main striker.
- AP



  Group Standings

Group A

P W D L F A Pt
Greece 2 1 1 0 3 2 4
Spain 2 1 1 0 2 1 4
Portugal 2 1 0 1 3 2 3
Russia 2 0 0 2 0 3 0


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  Match Stats

0 Goals 2
0 Halftime 1
1 Corners 6
1 Offsides 2
25 Fouls 19
3 Yellow cards 2
1 Red cards 0
21 Free kicks 26
2 Shots on target 8
3 Shots off target 6
0 Woodwork 2
6 Saves 1
0 GL Clearances 0
44% Possession 56%



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