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EC Qualification

  • November 15, 2011
  • • 21:00
  • • Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
  • Referee: W. Stark
  • • Attendance: 47728
6
FT
2

Portugal win Aggregate 6 - 2

Portugal 6-2 Bosnia & Herzegovina (Agg. 6-2): Cristiano Ronaldo & Helder Postiga both net doubles as Seleccao romp to Euro 2012 qualification

The hosts turned in an impressive display as they clinched qualification for Europe's most prestigious international competition in Poland and Ukraine next summer

Portugal sealed their passage to the Euro 2012 finals after thrashing Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-2 at the Estadio da Luz on Tuesday.

The hosts looked lively from the first whistle and took an early lead, with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani in the first 25 minutes, before Zvjezdan Misimovic reduced the deficit for Bosnia. In the second half, Emir Spahic gave the visitors a lifeline after Ronaldo had scored his second of the night, but the Seleccao responded in convincing fashion with a Miguel Veloso strike either side of an Helder Postiga brace.

Portugal got off to a bright start and had the first sight on goal in the sixth minute. Fabio Coentrao sent in a low cross from the left flank which Nani left for Cristiano Ronaldo, who tried his luck from inside the box. Asmir Begovic made the save, but he could only parry the ball into the path of Raul Meireles, who missed the rebound when he was already in an offside position.

The home side were in the driving seat and they broke the deadlock just one minute later. Ronaldo was brought down 25 yards out and, from the resulting free-kick, the Real Madrid man sent the ball over and wall and straight into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.

Ronaldo tested Begovic's reflexes in the 21st minute, forcing the keeper to deny the 26-year-old his second of the game. However, the Bosnian goalkeeper was helpless just minutes later, as Nani unleashed an unstoppable shot which nestled into the top corner.

Bosnia created a chance for the first time 32 minutes into the game, as Dzeko’s header bounced off the ground before hitting the bar, but the Manchester City forward was offside. But four minutes before the break, the visitors managed to pull one back, as Coentrao was penalised for a handball inside the box. Misimovic made no mistake from the spot and gave his side a considerable boost as the teams returned to the dressing rooms.

Portugal restored their two-goal lead just eight minutes into the second half. The Seleccao hit Bosnia on the break as Joao Moutinho sent a through ball to Ronaldo, who rounded the keeper before slotting into an empty net.

Bosnia's task became more difficult moments later, when Senad Lulic picked up a needless second yellow card for arguing with the referee.

In the 60th minute, the hosts had penalty claims waved away by the referee as Sasa Papac appeared to have handled the ball after Ronaldo had tried to lift it over the defender.

Paulo Bento’s men went close to scoring their fourth of the night just moments later, but Begovic denied Coentrao's header with a stunning save. Bosnia then cut into the lead on 65 minutes through Emir Spahic, who slotted home from close range after a Darko Maletic pass from the left.

In the 72nd minute, Portugal extended their lead once again, as Postiga drilled a powerful finish into the lower left corner of the goal after being picked out by Ruben Micael.

The home crowd wanted more goals before the end of the match, and the team managed to find them. In the 80th minute, Veloso sent a free-kick into the upper right corner of the goal, and just two minutes later, Postiga emulated Ronaldo's actions and clinched his own brace as he headed home Coentrao's cross.

The result sees Portugal book their ticket to next year's tournament thanks to the 6-2 aggregate win, while Bosnia are left to lick their wounds after the Seleccao deny them entry into another major tournament.

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