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Friendlies

  • 1 March 2012
  • • 06:45
  • • Stadion Narodowy, Warszawa
  • Referee: A. Yefet
  • • Attendance: 45000
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Poland 0-0 Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo and Co draw a blank as entertaining friendly ends in stalemate

Poland 0-0 Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo and Co draw a blank as entertaining friendly ends in stalemate

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The visitors spurned several chances in the first half but otherwise mirrored the display of their captain and created little throughout the contest

A display marked by several missed opportunities in the first half led to Portugal drawing 0-0 with Poland at the inauguration of the National Stadium in Warsaw on Wednesday evening.

In a match with plenty of chances but little penetration, a feisty home support were unable to celebrate a winning goal in this friendly encounter.

Portugal flew out of the gates, dominating the game from the opening whistle, and it didn't take long for them to create threatening goalmouth action.

Nani found himself isolated on the right after a wonderful flick header from Raul Meireles.  The Manchester United winger dribbled his way into the box and hit a venomous strike towards goal which forced Wojciech Szczesny into a great diving save.

After the Seleccao lowered their tempo, Nani sprung into action once more. After breezing past two defenders on the right, the former Sporting Lisbon man dribbled past a third in the box and struck another effort towards goal, but Szczesny denied the winger a goal which would have been thrust into highlight reels around the world.

Although Poland had not had a single shot on goal in 44 minutes, the best chance of the first-half was spurned by Ireneusz Jelen. A backward pass from Nelson fooled Bruno Alves and isolated the Polish striker, and after dribbling past Pepe, all Jelen had to do was find the open net, but at point-blank range he was stopped by Rui Patricio.

The second half saw Patricio spring into action to save his side once more. Taking advantage of a bad pass from Ronaldo, Ludovic Obraniak went on a mazy run which was concluded with a classy curling effort from the edge of the box, and the attacking midfielder's strike forced Patricio into a fantastic sprawling save.

This play would be the only relevant action that the faithful at the National Stadium in Warsaw would witness for 25 minutes as an uninspired Ronaldo, a less influential Nani, and an almost non-existent midfield meant the quality of Portugal's football dipped substantially. Poland seemed content with the 0-0 deadlock, and barely ventured forward in an attempt to avoid exposing their back line.

In the final 10 minutes, the hosts woke up and Kamil Grosicki would have scored twice if not for Patricio's efforts.  What looked like a sure goal from the striker was somehow stopped by the Sporting man with his back, and moments later, Grosicki threatened again but Patricio turned away his dangerous strike from the edge of the box with a diving save.

Poland have shown their fans that they have the ability to go head to head with one of the world's best footballing nations in Euro 2012, while Portugal's lack of potency in attack continues to be a concern for Paulo Bento.

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