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October 11, 2013
• Estádio José Alvalade, Lisboa
Referee: T. Hagen
• Attendance: 48317
Ricardo Costa 27'
E. Ben Basat 85'
That's it from me, Harry Slavin. Thanks for joining me this evening and hope you enjoyed all the action from the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbo. Until next time, goodbye!
FULL-TIME PORTUGAL 1-1 ISRAEL. Not the scoreline either team wanted in the end here as they share the spoils. Portugal for all their dominance couldn't find that all important second goal and were made to pay after Patricio's late howler. They now have to focus on negotiating those tricky play-offs.
90' + 3'
Portugal have a throw-in deep in the Israel half. This will be their last chance.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card C. Ronaldo
Into stoppage time we go then. The crowd are trying to rouse themselves after the shock of being pegged back. Portugal have three minuted to keep their automatic qualifying dreams alive.
Ronaldo is cutting an extremely frustrated character on the pitch. He launches the ball into the stands after a foul is awarded against Antunes and is booked for kicking the ball away.
It doesn't change the stipulations of the group too much, as Portugal look unlikely to finish top either way. But as far as moral goes, that goal is a huge blow for Portugal as they look set now to head into the play-offs.
Goal Eden Ben Basat
GOOAAALLL!!!! ISRAEL EQUALISE!! Well, well. 1-0 is never a safe scoreline and so it has proved once more. I was just singing the praises of Rui Patricio but he has made a right hash of a simple clearance as he scuffs it straight to Ben Basat. The striker composes himself and fires beyond the exposed keeper to silence the home support.
Yellow Card Pepe
Yellow Card Lior Rafaelov
A cynical challenge from Rafaelov on Andre Almeida produces the first yellow card of the night. The second quickly follows though as Pepe gets over involved and his booked for his reaction to the foul.
Final substitution for the hosts as Damari comes on for Zahavi. Just over five minutes left now.
Patricio hasn't had an awful lot to do this evening but what he has done, he has done well. Patricio shows his reliability once more as he comes to claim the free kick and ease any pressure on his goal.
Pepe flattens Ben Harush on the left flank and gives Israel a free kick in a promising position here.
ANTUNES!!! One of the best moves of the match from the home side as Moutinho clips a glorious ball over the back four for the onrushing Antunes to meet with a half-volley. It looks destined for the net but Awat gets down to produce a fine one handed stop to divert the ball over the bar for a corner.
It's not quite had the drama of their 3-3 draw back in March, and in all fairness there is only one team that has ever looked like scoring this evening. Still, we have 13 minutes or so left. Do we have any goals left?
That was a glorious chance for the hosts to put this game to bed. It wasn't bad effort from Oliveira but you have to score if your going to ignore the cries of an unmarked Ronaldo. Surely they won't come to regret that?
Ronaldo is giving another of his team-mates the stare-down treatment as Nelson Oliviera goes for the outlandish and tries to chip Awat from outside the box, when all he needed to do was slip the ball into Ronaldo for a simple finish.
Joao Moutinho has a crack from outside the area but his shot skids past the right-hand upright. Still that second goal evades the hosts.
It's not been the most convincing performance from Paulo Bento's side and you can perhaps understand why there's a desperation for them to avoid the play-offs. They haven't had the most difficult of groups but have struggled in a number of fixtures. Any play-off fixture could prove an extremely difficult one to navigate.
Eli Guttman is aware his side's time is running out and he throws caution to the wing by sending on striker Lior Rafaelov.
The subsitute is back on his feet and is immediately making a nuisance of himself, getting down the left and sending a fizzing centre across goal. It's too far ahead of Radi however and the chance is gone.
A small stoppage in play as substitute Ben Haimm looks to get his breath back after a collision with Pepe. He's not the first to fall foul of a clash with the Real central defender. He won't be the last.
RICARDO COSTA! The Valencia centre-back goes very close to a second as he connects with a corner, heading into the ground. His effort beats Awat who has coming flying out into no man's land, but his header bounces up and over the bar. Very unlucky.
Tal Ben Haimm
Israel try and work a short free kick but can only win a corner out of it. They've still got a few ideas up their sleeve. Portugal could still do with the comfort of a second goal.
Two corners in a minute for Portugal but they can't fashion a decent chance as Micael and Nani both waste chances.
Portugal have the ball in the net, but it won't count. Antunes swings in a deep cross from the left and Almeida thinks he has atoned for his earlier miss as he heads home expertly from a tight angle. His redemption is short-lived though as he is given offside.
Ben Harush finds himself up the other end of the park, and has a fantastic chance to level for Israel as he shifts the ball inside onto his right foot. He shows his true colours though with a real defender's finish, placing his shot straight at Rui Patricio.
Ronaldo glares at Hugo Almeida and glare he might. The no.7 stands a ball up to the back post where the Besiktas striker is all on his own. The forward mistimes his jump though and heads well over the bar. A glorious chance.
Lovely touch from Hugo Almeida to set Cristiano Ronaldo away down the left hand side. Eytan Tibi gets across with an important tackle though before the Real Madrid man can cause any real problems.
Almost a disastrous start to the half for Portugal! Barda gets in behind the back four for Israel on the right and slams a cross along the face of goal. A bit more composure and he could have picked out an unmarked Ben Basat.
Portugal kick us off for the second forty-five. Can they finish what they started in the first half?
Right, we have both teams back out and we are about to get back underway.
Israel on the other hand, have only ever qualified for the finals once, back in 1970. That was in Mexico, but it looks as if Israel will be missing out on another South American adventure, as their faint hopes of qualification are completely dashed unless they can perform a miraculous second half turnaround.
After Russia thumped Luxemburg 4-0 earlier this evening, this really is a must win for Portugal. They haven't failed to qualify for the finals of the World Cup since 1998. Ronaldo said before tonight that failing to qualify 'isn't worth thinking about'. CR7 & Co have still got a bit of work to do in this one yet.
HALF-TIME: PORTUGAL 1-0 ISRAEL. The hosts lead at the break and deservedly so. Ricardo Costa's first international goal is the least Paulo Bento's side deserve for their dominant first half display. But they can't afford to let up in the second period against an Israel side who have already shown they can pose a threat on the counter.
45' + 1'
They can, but it's wasted by Nani as his attempted return pass to Micael ends up in the hands of Awat.
Just added time left at the end of the half. Can the home side forge one more chance before the break?
Portugal may only be one goal up but that doesn't stop Nani and Ronaldo from strutting their stuff. The pair link up down the right and the Manchester United winger almost finds his team-mate with a cheeky backheel. It doesn't quite come off this time though, the ball falling just behind the Real Madrid forward.
Ronaldo shoves Yeini in the box but it goes unnoticed by referee Hagen and his officials. There are no ramification though as Hugo Almeida is penalised for a foul as the visitors attempt to clear.
Portugal's pressure is relentless at the moment. Nani has whipped in a couple more crosses, one which Ronaldo was inches away from connecting with. They've got another corner here and are bombarding that Israel penalty area.
Micael takes another shot, his fourth of the night by my reckoning. It's not his worst, but it's far from his best as Awat holds onto the ball comfortably.
No matter how often you see it, it never fails to excite. Ronaldo picks up the ball in space and immediately embarks on a slalom run up the middle of the Israel half. He glides past a couple of tackles but is eventually crowded out.
Nani is proving a thorn in the side of Israel tonight. He drifts into the box and on this occasion rasps the ball low across the face of goal, only a smart piece of defending from Ben Haim robbing Almeida of a tap in.
The crowd have picked up with that goal, and more importantly Portugal haven't let off. Israel now have all 11 players back in their own half.
That goal will calm a few nerves around the Estadio Jose Alvalade. It's Ricardo Costa's first international goal. It could be a huge one in ensuring Portugal get to the 2014 World Cup.
Goal Ricardo Costa
GOOAAALL!!! RICARDO COSTA FOR PORTUGAL!!! It's been a restless start from Paulo Bento's side and they have their reward. A short corner is swung all the way to the back post, where an unmarked Pepe has the presence of mind to tap the ball back across goal where Costa meets the ball with stooping header to nod his side in front. Simple, simple goal.
Micael is picking up the best chances for Portugal and he's just forced Dudu Awat into a cracking stop. Nani bundles his way across midfield and the ball falls at the feet of the midfielder, who's snapshot has to be tipped over by the Israeli keeper.
Portugal are still forcing the issue down this right hand side and it almost pays dividends on this occasion. Nani skips past his defender and drives into the box with the ball. The Manchester United winger though goes for the spectacular, attempting to beat Awat from an acute angle, the keeper blocking the shot with his legs.
Eli Guttman will be fairly pleased with the opening stages. His side are on the back foot but they haven't given up any clear-cut chances as yet, and even look threatening on the break.
First sight of goal for Ronaldo but he steers his shot low, past the near post of Dudu Awat's goal. He can, and should, do better.
With Ronaldo being given the free role, as well he should, it's limiting the available channels for the home side. You'd have thought there was a radioactive spill down the left hand side the way Paulo Bento's side have been avoiding it so far.
Chance for Israel! Barda's throughball isn't struck with much conviction but a poor attempt at an interception from debutant Andre Almeida allows Eden Ben Basat to run onto the ball. He's able to get a shot in, but he drags back across the face of Rui Patricio's goal and just wide.
Nani is seeing plenty of the ball down the right in these opening stages and isn't afraid to pepper the visitor's area with crosses. He does have some dangerous targets to aim for in the shape of Ronaldo and Almeida.
Despite playing with five at the back, Israel aren't shy on going forward. They do need to win to keep they're qualification hopes alive after all. Elyaniv Barda evades one tackle with a neat skip but can't get his shot away.
Nani finds Ronaldo in the middle with a low pass. The no.7 has his back to goal and can't get the ball under control as he attempts to roll his man. There are spaces opening up for the home side though.
Eran Zahavi gets the ball and attempts to mount Israel's first attack of the evening. He gets into the area but has to settle for a corner as the Portuguese defence get across quickly to snuff out the danger.
The free kick was a long way out but that's never put of Ronaldo in the past has it? He winds up from 30-yards and connects well enough, only to see his effort blocked by one of his own team-mates.
Ronaldo gets on the ball for the first time this evening but can't quite escape the attentions of Sheran Yeini with a couple of step-overs, the defender being forced to bring down the Real Madrid forward and concede the free kick.
A bright start from Portugal and almost a goal to go with it! Hugo Almeida meets Nani's cross with a lovely cushioned header that falls into the path of Ruben Micael, but the midfielders shot into the turf flies just wide.
Norwegian referee Tom Harald Hagen gives a short blast on his whistle and we are up and running!
The home fans belt out the Portuguese national anthem, the aptly named 'The Portuguese'. The fair-play handshakes are done and dusted and the team photos have been snapped. We're ready to go in Lisbon!
The teams are out at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon. Just those national anthems between us and the kick off now!
Portugal had to come from 3-1 down when they played Israel in Tel Aviv back in March. That point could go a long way to helping them get to Brazil. They had to rely on a stoppage time equaliser from Fabio Coentrao in that game. The Portuguese will be hoping there isn't the need for as much drama this time around.
ISRAEL: (5-3-2) Awat; Yeini, Tibi, Ben Harush, Ben Haim, Meshumar; Zahavi, Natcho, Radi; Ben Basat, Barda.
PORTUGAL: (4-3-3) Rui Patricio; Antunes, Costa, Pepe, Andre Almeida; Moutinho, Veloso, Micael; Ronaldo, Hugo Almeida, Nani.
We are only around 10 minutes away from kick-off, so how's about some team news? We'll start with the hosts.
Meanwhile Israel aren't quite out of the World Cup running yet either. They're currently five points behind Paulo Bento's side, but a win tonight and favourable results next Tuesday could see the Blue and Whites squeeze past tonight's opponents into the play-offs.
Portugal have two games left to secure automatic qualification for Brazil but have their work cut out as they chase down group leaders Russia. Anything less than a win tonight would virtually hand the group to Fabio Capello's side. Ronaldo and Co need to be on top form this evening.
Good evening and warm welcome to tonight's European World Cup Qualifying action! I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to take you through all the action as Portugal host Israel in their penultimate Group F fixture.
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