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Friendlies

  • June 2, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
  • Referee: S. Studer
  • • Attendance: 62000
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Portugal 1-3 Turkey: Bulut puts a dent in Seleccao's Euro 2012 hopes

Portugal 1-3 Turkey: Bulut puts a dent in Seleccao's Euro 2012 hopes

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A glut of chances go begging as Paulo Bento's men dominate an entertaining contest, but are made to pay for their defensive failings

Portugal's Euro 2012 preparations stuttered as it crashed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Turkey in an international friendly at a packed Estadio da Luz on Saturday.

Portugal battered its visitors from the off, but found itself a goal down at the break after Umut Bulut's opportunistic strike. The hosts' vulnerability at the back saw them 2-0 down through another Bulut effort, before Bento's side dragged themselves back into the contest with a crisp Nani strike. Ronaldo then missed a penalty for the hosts, who saw its misery complete when Pepe turned home a late own goal.

A lively opening to the match saw the Seleccao start with purpose, with captain Cristiano Ronaldo unsurprisingly heavily involved.

The Real Madrid man forced the first save of the game from Turk number one Volkan Demirel, who got down smartly to turn aside Ronaldo's dipping free kick from 25 yards out.

If Abdullah Avci's side thought it had weathered the storm, it was mistaken: Almeida heading against the crossbar on 30 minutes after Joao Moutinho's free-kick was flicked on by Pepe.

A minute later, however, and Turkey had also rattled the woodwork.

This time it was a fantastic 30-yard free-kick from Hamit Altintop that scraped the goalframe - the Real Madrid star's effort serving warning of a Turkish goal that simply hadn't looked on the cards early on.

That Turkish goal duly arrived when striker Umut Bulut nipped in ahead of Coentrau to turn home from six yards after fabulous work down the left by Sercan Sararer.

The hosts charged back in search of an equalizer and saw a golden chance fall to Ronaldo, whose slotted effort was deflected agonizingly wide by Demirel's legs.

Unlucky to be 1-0 down at the break, Portugal maintained their tempo at the start of the second-half.

However, Bento's side saw its night go from bad to worse on 52 minutes when some dreadful defending from Bruno Alves was clinically punished by the impressive Bulut who blasted home from the edge of the box.

With the hosts falling apart at the back, Yilmaz should have made it 3-0 - the Turkish midfielder walking through unmarked only to miss the target completely.

And the Turkish midfielder was rueing his miss when Nani collected Ronaldo's pass to reduce the deficit with a drilled finish on 57 minutes.

Portugal fullback Miguel Lopes was then felled by Emre Belozoglu to give Ronaldo the chance to score from the spot. However, the hosts' captain fluffed his lines: Demirel pushing his tame penalty to safety.

The hosts' pressure was incessant, but was failing to pay off and a third Turkish goal came courtesy of a calamitous own goal that saw Pepe inadvertently turn home a cross from the right.

The defeat underlines that Paulo Bento's men now have a great deal to work on as they turn their focus to the cut-throat business of tournament football.

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