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May 31, 2014
• 2:30 PM
• Estádio Nacional, Jamor, Oeiras
Referee: K. Blom
• Attendance: 33556
On this evidence, the return of Ronaldo cannot come soon enough for Portugal. Greece will hope the injury that forced Sokratis Papastathopoulos off in the first half is not serious, with only 14 days to go until their World Cup opener against Colombia. That's all from us this evening - thanks for reading!
It would have been cruel on Greece had the ball found its way in there. Fernando Santos' men defended manfully to once again frustrate Portugal.
90' + 3'
PORTUGAL ALMOST CLAIM VICTORY! The last act of the game sees Ricardo Costa send over a cross that appears to take a deflection before looping on to the angle of post and bar.
90' + 1'
We are into two minutes of injury time on a frustrating evening for Portugal. Greece are likely to take great encouragement from their efforts in defence.
William Carvalho goes down after playing a short pass. He is duly taken off, with Neto taking over, but looks to have avoided any significant injury. Maybe a touch of cramp.
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos replaces Samaras for Greece, before Veloso sees a shot deflect wide. The game is finally coming to life in the closing minutes.
BETO TO THE RESCUE!! Would you believe it?! Greece almost snatch a goal of their own! Substitute Fetfatzidis wins the ball in the corner and sees a powerful low strike kept out by the feet of Portugal's keeper!
Unless Portugal can find inspiration in the closing minutes, their winless run against Greece will be extended to six matches. Nani, the most dangerous player on the pitch, is replaced by Rafa.
I wonder if Portugal have been hampered by the raft of second-half changes? Greece are enjoying their best spell in some time, albeit without posing too much of a danger. Even the band has gone quiet in Oeiras.
What was I saying? A free-kick on the right enables Greece to show a little more ambition. Karagounis' delivery is cleared behind for a corner, which is then punched away under pressure by Beto. When the ball comes back into the box, the Portuguese goalkeeper flaps unconvincingly, but is not punished.
There does not seem much chance of Greece throwing men forward in search of a late winner. Veloso wastes another set-piece, chipping a free-kick straight into the hands of Karnezis.
As was the case before the break, Portugal have lost their way a little after an encouraging start to the half. I can't help but think we may have seen a very different game tonight had Ronaldo been involved.
Manolas also gets a break, with the experienced Loukas Vyntra taking over in defence. Greece, who face Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan at the World Cup, have certainly demonstrated their solidity in this match.
Varela's work is done. Vierinha has 20 minutes to show what he can do. Portugal must be becoming increasingly frustrated by their failure to find a goal.
NANI THREATENS AGAIN! After failing to create a chance from three corners in quick succession, he fires in a low drive from 20 yards, which Karnezis smothers at the second attempt.
Greece enjoy a rare foray forward, which gives Portugal the chance to counter-attack. Varela's cross-field ball picks out Nani inside the area, but the winger's shot is charged down.
Portugal respond by replacing Eder with Ruben Amorim. The new man gets a warm welcome from the stadium announcer ... and his introduction also sparks the band back into life.
Time for some more changes. The ineffectual Kostas Mitroglou makes way for Theofanis Gekas, while Dimitris Salpingidis also slopes off, with Giannis Fetfatzidis coming on.
As I mentioned before the game, Portugal's recent record against Greece is miserable. Is it a good idea to play a side you have often struggled against when you are looking to build confidence ahead of a major tournament? A goalless draw here certainly would not be ideal for Bento's men.
Yet another corner finds a Greek head. However, the visitors are really struggling to get out of their own half now. We are seeing wave after wave of attack from Portugal.
Orestis Karnezis is not troubled from the corner. Despite Portugal's dominance, the Greece goalkeeper has remained under-worked. Surely Portugal are bound to test him if they continue to pour forward in numbers?
Another dangerous ball from the right, this time courtesy of Joao Pereira, is headed away. Portugal are looking more and more dangerous and Silvestre Varela wins a corner as the pressure builds.
And now we have another injury. Kostas Manolas is down and in some pain after being clattered by Ricardo Costa at a corner. It was Manolas who prevented Nani's earlier cross from reaching Eder. It looks as though he will be ok to continue.
PORTUGAL ALMOST FIND A WAY THROUGH!! It's that man Nani who again causes problems for Greece, but his low ball from the right just fails to find a team-mate.
Veloso thunders a shot into the wall and Greece clear the ball to safety. The pace of play has picked up a little. Maybe Portugal coach Paulo Bento demanded more from his players at half-time?
We have a spot of pinball in the Greek penalty area!! Nani and Eder each see shots charged down before the latter is brought down 25 yards from goal to bring about a free-kick.
This is a good chance for Almeida to impress. Postiga barely got a kick prior to the interval, so his replacement will be keen to prove his worth. The striker tries to break clear down the left, but Dimitris Salpingidis makes a fine sliding tackle to end the attack.
Helder Postiga and Alexandros Tziolis are the other players to have made way at the break. Portugal have carried on where they left off, dominating possession at the start of the second period.
We have changes immediately. Portugal bring on Beto to take the place of Eduardo in goal, while Hugo Almeida and Greek veteran Giorgos Karagounis also enter the fray. Let's see if they can make an impact.
Here come the teams for the second half. The crowd appear to be in high spirits, but I'm sure they would love a goal to cheer in the remaining 45 minutes.
You would expect both coaches to make plenty of changes in the second half as they assess their options. Each of these teams have already named their final 23-man squads for Brazil, however, so nobody is playing for a place on the plane.
So, not a great deal of goalmouth action in Oeiras before the interval. The main talking point up to now has been an injury to Greece centre-half Sokratis Papastathopoulos, which could threaten his participation at the World Cup.
45' + 1'
But the midfielder fails to deliver a telling ball and the game remains goalless. Soon after, the referee blows his whistle and brings the half to a close.
Nani is brought down on the right side of the box by Jose Holebas. This is a great chance for Portugal to threaten as the half-time whistle approaches. Veloso is over the free-kick.
If ever there was a time for a footballer not to get injured, this is it. Let's hope that Papastathopoulos is not ruled out of his country's World Cup campaign. His withdrawal has been the most notable aspect of a fairly tame half.
This could be bad news for Greece. Sokratis Papastathopoulos limps off after pulling up making a clearance. Vangelis Moras is his replacement, but there will be concern over the fitness of the Borussia Dortmund man.
Hello, here's an opportunity at the other end. Torosidis, of all people, ambles into a shooting position, before curling a left-footed shot high and wide of Eduardo's goal from 25 yards. It would have taken something special to score from there.
Two free-kicks for Portugal in the Greek half are followed by a corner, but all three set-pieces are comfortably dealt with.
There is a rare touch for Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo, who rises to claim a cross under little pressure. He may be tempted to bring out a deckchair for the second half at this rate.
There simply has not been enough quality on show in the final third up to now. Varela makes good headway down the left flank, but overhits his cross and sees the ball sail harmlessly out of play.
Portugal are likely to face different challenges at the World Cup, when they come up against Germany, Ghana and the United States in a tricky-looking Group G. I would expect each of those sides to show more ambition than Greece. Nani continues to look the hosts' best hope of scoring and heads over the bar from a left-wing cross.
The brass band plays on, but there is little to shout about on the field. Greece have offered next to nothing in an attacking sense, but are unlikely to change their approach for as long as the game remains goalless.
Well, that was a little better. Varela and Nani work a short corner routine, which ends with the ball reaching Veloso, who once again misses the target from the edge of the penalty area.
This game is in need of a spark as the half-hour mark approaches. After a lively start, Portugal have found it increasingly tough to get their forwards into the game. But they now have another corner.
Helder Postiga, who has been very quiet, lets out a frustrated sigh as a free-kick is awarded against him. The atmosphere is somewhat lighter on the bench, where the Real trio of Ronaldo, Pepe and Fabio Coentrao have smiles on their faces.
Greece are likely to be content with their work up to this point. Portugal continue to probe away in search of an opening, but a disciplined defence is holding firm and keeping chances to a minimum.
It is noticeable that Portugal's attacking players are seeking to press the ball high up the field. A foul from left-back Andre Almeida provides Greece with the chance to send a set-piece into the box, but it comes to nothing.
Nani has been central to much of Portugal's good work in the opening quarter. Another cross from the Manchester United winger is cleared away, and he then produces a lovely backheel that almost leads to Silvestre Varela getting a shot on goal.
The camera cuts to Ronaldo, watching on from the bench. You get the feeling Greece's defenders will be pleased to see him there. A long ball from the Greek midfield almost finds Samaras, but Portugal are soon back on the front foot. Can they find a killer ball?
A swift Portugal break ends with Nani crossing low from the right, but Kostas Manolas is on hand to snuff out the danger. Veloso then tries his luck from distance, but his shot flies well wide.
Now it is Portugal's turn to knock the ball around. The crowd have already taken to entertaining themselves with a Mexican wave, which seems a little premature!
Somewhat predictably, Portugal are looking the more dangerous side. The visitors appear keen to slow the tempo of the game and have just enjoyed their best spell of possession so far.
Portugal threaten again, with Bruno Alves meeting a near-post corner from Miguel Veloso. His header is tipped away by Karnezis, who then makes a more routine save when Ricardo Costa connects with the subsequent set-piece.
And now a half-chance at the other end. Mitroglou is given time and space, but the striker sees an optimistic effort from distance charged down. It looks as though this could be an open encounter.
Goodness me - Porgual almost claim an early lead. Nani sends over a cross from the right and Eder's header forces Orestis Karnezis into an early save.
We are underway. And that seems to have gone down well with the brass band in attendance!
There is plenty of experience in the Greek side, with the likes of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Vasilis Torosidis and Dimitris Salpingidis all involved. Salpingidis is joined in a front three by Georgios Samaras and Kostas Mitroglou, with the latter seeking to find his best form after a poor start to his career at Premier League Fulham.
You'll notice that the home team are missing a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward complained of muscular pain in his left thigh and sat out training yesterday. With the World Cup looming large on the horizon, it is no surprise to see Ronaldo rested. Let's hope he is fully fit when things get underway in Brazil.
Greece (4-3-3): Karnezis; Holebas, Manolas, Papastathopoulos, Torosidis; Tziolis, Katsouranis, Maniatis; Samaras, Mitroglou, Salpingidis.
Portugal (4-4-2): Eduardo; Pereira, Costa, Alves, Almeida; Nani, Veloso, William, Varela; Éder, Postiga.
Not long now until kick-off in Oeiras. Let's take a look at how the two teams are lining up.
Greece have actually won the last three meetings between the two sides, and have not lost to Portugal since March 1996. Paulo Bento’s men will certainly be favourites to triumph on this occasion, but that was also the case a decade ago.
The mere mention of Greece may be enough to bring many Portuguese fans out in a cold sweat. Almost 10 years have passed since Portugal were sensationally denied glory in Lisbon in the final of Euro 2004. Angelos Charisteas’ goal secured a truly memorable triumph in the final for Greece, who also beat the hosts in the tournament's first game.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the international friendly between Portugal and Greece. With the FIFA World Cup in Brazil now just 12 days away, both teams will be eager to gain momentum in this fixture as they step up their preparations for football’s grandest tournament. I’m Chris Devine and I’ll talk you through all of the action in Oeiras.
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