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Played
September 6, 2013 2:45 PM EDT
Windsor Park — Belfast
Referee:‬ D. Makkelie‎
Attendance:‬ 13629‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal

Goal.com takes a look at all on display at a thrilling encounter at Windsor Park, where it took a late Ronaldo show to see of a brave Northern Ireland side

By Harry Slavin

  • Roy Carroll
    1
    0
    2.50

    Roy Carroll

    May be disappointed with the goal he conceded in the first half but was possibly unsighted. Denied Vierinha and Postiga with two sprawling stops. Booked needlessly after the break and could do little for Ronaldo's three strikes.

  • Gareth McAuley
    2
    0
    3.50

    Gareth McAuley

    At the center of everything good about Northern Ireland's first half, leveling with a powerful header and provoking Helder Postiga into an unwise confrontation. Was called into action at the other end in the second half as the hosts found themselves under the cosh.

  • Jonny Evans
    3
    0
    4.00

    Jonny Evans

    A colossus at the back, heading everything that came near him and tackling fearlessly. Maintained that level in the second half when others in his side didn't.

  • Lee Hodson
    2
    0
    3.00

    Lee Hodson

    Dealt admirably in the air as Portugal targeted the height of the Northern Ireland full back by peppering the wings with diagonal long balls all evening.

  • Shane Ferguson
    2
    0
    3.50

    Shane Ferguson

    Brilliant dead-ball deliveries lead to both first-half goals for Northern Ireland. Wasn't afraid to get forward at other opportunities from left back either and little fault could be placed in his lap for the goals.

  • Chris Brunt
    0
    2
    2.00

    Chris Brunt

    Looked utterly devastated once the realization had set in of what his moment of madness might cost his side. It ultimately did, undoing a lot of his hard work in midfield throughout the first half and beginning of the second.

  • Niall McGinn
    1
    0
    2.50

    Niall McGinn

    A spiky performance in the first half from the Aberdeen man saw Northern Ireland pose a real threat. Tired too quickly though in the second period and was lamentably brought off for Lafferty.

  • Oliver Norwood
    1
    0
    3.00

    Oliver Norwood

    A very confident performance from the 22-year-old who was happy to try his luck against Coentrao on several occasions. Was booked for the foul that ultimately sealed Northern Ireland's fate but in truth the jig was already up.

  • Steven Davis
    0
    1
    2.50

    Steven Davis

    Had the injustice of being booked for receiving an elbow to the face bestowed upon him. Looked sharp as part of the hyperactive Northern Ireland of the first half, but like others, understandably floundered in the second with fewer men around him.

  • Jamie Ward
    1
    0
    3.00

    Jamie Ward

    Showed poaching prowess to poke Northern Ireland in front. A tireless worker but removed from the action for Corry Evans in the second half as Michael O'Neill looked to shut up shop.

  • Martin Paterson
    1
    0
    3.50

    Martin Paterson

    Another who worked hard for the cause by chasing lost ones. Continued on the field all game as a target for the defense to aim for, but didn't receive any proper service throughout.

Substitutions

  • Chris Baird
    1
    0

    Chris Baird

    Came on late as the hosts look to plug the burst dam.

  • Corry Evans
    1
    0
    3.00

    Corry Evans

    Came on for Ward to sure up the midfield but his role was altered by the sending off of Lafferty.

  • Kyle Lafferty
    0
    1
    1.00

    Kyle Lafferty Flop of the Match

    One of the most disruptive cameos ever seen as the former Rangers man proceeded to lose Ronaldo at a corner just minutes after coming on, before sliding through Pereira to receive his marching orders.

  • Rui Patricio
    1
    1
    2.00

    Rui Patricio

    Unconvincing display from the Sporting keeper who constantly flapped at crosses. Was out-muscled too easily by Ward for the second goal and really had no other save to make.

  • Bruno Alves
    2
    1
    3.00

    Bruno Alves

    Very well taken goal to open the scoring but looked a little flustered at the back at times. Masked his defensive discrepancies by causing trouble at the other end at set pieces.

  • Fabio Coentrao
    4
    0
    3.00

    Fabio Coentrao

    Was actually given a hard time by Norwood and like his team-mates at the back, he struggled with the ferocity with which Northern Ireland closed down at times. Still had the last say though by setting up the the third.

  • João Pereira
    1
    1
    2.50

    João Pereira

    Stiffened under the intensity of Northern Ireland's pressing and perhaps the crowd. He eased up a little in the second half, although was lucky he didn't freeze when Lafferty took him out.

  • Pepe
    4
    0
    3.00

    Pepe

    The Real Madrid defender was clearly rattle early on as he picked up a booking inside the opening 10 minutes. Some important blocks however and created a hole for Ronaldo to blast his free kick through saw his performance improve.

  • Joao Moutinho
    4
    0
    3.00

    Joao Moutinho

    Delivered the cross for Alves to open the scoring but had very little luck unlocking a tightly packed Northern Ireland defense until the red cards started coming out.

  • Miguel Veloso
    1
    1
    2.50

    Miguel Veloso

    Stung the palms of Carroll with a venomous effort but didn't offer to much else from midfield as Portugal struggled until granted the freedom of the park against nine men.

  • Raúl Meireles
    1
    2
    2.50

    Raúl Meireles

    Produced one smart stop from Carroll but offered very little else and was hooked at the beginning of the second half for Nani as Bento looked to inject some creativity.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
    7
    1
    4.00

    Cristiano Ronaldo Top of the Match

    A frustrating first half was completely forgotten by the end of the 90 minutes as the peerless Real Madrid front-man notched two fantastic headers before firing home a free kick to secure the points and the match ball late on.

  • Hélder Postiga
    2
    1
    1.50

    Hélder Postiga

    Almost cost his side precious qualifying points with a moment of madness that saw him sent off for headbutting McAuley. Was just lucky that some of the opposition had similar temper issues.

Substitutions

  • Nani
    4
    0
    3.50

    Nani

    Came on to try and gee up the Portugal attack and his directness saw a favorable increase in the space afforded for Ronaldo, as he committed defenders to meet him out of the area.

  • Ruben Amorim
    3
    0

    Ruben Amorim

    Came on very late to afford Ronaldo a standing ovation.

  • Nélson Oliveira
    2
    0
    2.50

    Nélson Oliveira

    Came on as Portugal looked for a late push to secure the points but offered little.

Results
Group A Matchday 8
Times In EDT
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Man City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0