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June 4, 2011
• Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz), Lisboa
Referee: C. Çakιr
• Attendance: 47829
Hélder Postiga 53'
The match ends 1-0 to Portugal, thanks to a Postiga winner early in the second-half! They now move level with Norway in Group H, and set up a fascinating end to the qualifying series. Stay at Goal.com for more fantastic coverage of Euro 2012 and much, much more! I'm Livio Caferoglu and I wish you all a very pleasant evening.
90' + 2'
And proceedings end in rather humorous style, with a streaker coming on the pitch wearing a Portugal flag!
90' + 1'
Ronaldo shows a glimpse of his best, as he cuts inside from the left and blasts a shot at goal, but it is just wide!
Three minutes of injury time are given!
Norway almost make the most of a long-range free-kick, as Hangeland nods the ball onto Abdellaoui, but it is cleared by Meireles for a corner. The aftermath sees Eduardo punch the ball away, but is fouled in the process.
Ronaldo has just had an attempt on goal with a header, but the danger is quickly averted. Varela, meanwhile, replaces Nani, who comes off to a round of applause.
A quite incredible call as Nani is blatenly fouled in the box by substitute Markus Henriksen, but the referee ignores it! The Portuguese players are mystified by the decision.
Not a whole lot happening, as Norway are in possession but are relying on just long balls to create an opening. It's a risky strategy to pursue!
Tee_kay004 on Twitter reckons the first-half was a boring affair, and the second should be a vast improvement. Well, that sure has been the case! Thanks for your comment.
I'm quite miffed by Huseklepp's departure, as he was by far Norway's best outlet. Looks like Egil Olsen is treating the remaining 15 minutes as a case of damage limitation!
Nani finds ex-United teammate Ronaldo with a delicious through ball, but the skipper's touch past an on-rushing Jarstein is too heavy and goes off for a goal kick, much to the winger's disdain.
Abdellaoui falls down in the Portugal box, but the call is rejected without hesitation by the referee, as there is no contact whatsoever.
Martins takes his turn to shoot at goal, and its with real venom as Jarstein importantly gets his hand around the ball. Carew was well marshalled by Pepe, and we can safely say the Real Madrid centre-back won that particular battle with considerable ease.
Trouble almost ensues in the Portugal box, as the ball bobbles about, but the hosts get a reprieve, as Grindheim's pass to Huseklepp is called offside.
John Alieu Carew
The Portuguese are putting in cross after cross, as they feel the Norwegian defence is vulnerable to loose balls floating around. Meireles has just had another fine attempt at goal, powering a shot low and hard towards the bottom right corner, but Jarstein again is equal to it.
Goal Hélder Postiga
GOAL FOR THE SELECCAO!!! Nani drills a ball into the box, and the ex-Tottenham man does well to make contact, as he slides in to give Paulo Bento's side a massive lead!
Norway are almost in, as Huseklepp reaches the Portuguese box, but his cross is vitally blocked by Pepe. Straight at the other end, Nani cuts inside from the left and shoots at goal, but his effort goes well over.
The first chance of the second 45 goes to Portugal and Helder Postiga, who unleashes a powerful drive at goal, but it is well stopped by Jarstein for a corner
The half-time stats just emphasise the Portuguese dominance. They have had 30 attempts on goal in comparison to Norway's 7, not to mention 65% possession to the hosts! Oh, and the game has just restarted.
The referee blows for half-time! Let's hope the second continues in the same vein, plus a goal or two... Send your messages to me on Twitter @livmc now!
Pretty uneventful five or so minutes, as the Portugal subs look on with not much emotion on their faces. Ronaldo seems to have switched flanks with Nani.
CLOSE FROM RONALDO! The Real Madrid man pops up in the box, as he leaps on the end of a Coentrao cross, but his bullet-like header is straight at Jarstein.
I've lost count of how many blocked shots have come from the boot of Carlos Martins!
So has Ronaldo on his return in Portuguese colours. He looks uncomfortable on the left hand side and isn't exerting much of an influence or impact on the game, as Coentrao is outshining him so far.
Pedersen has been hugely disappointing for Norway tonight, as his poor free-kick ends in an almost-successful Portuguese break. He should take a leaf out of the book of fellow winger Nani, who looks perilous every time he touches the ball.
Portgual are getting closer and closer, as Bruno Alves powers a goal-bound header at goal, but it is well cleared and ends up being a free-kick to Norway.
Carew and Pepe will be an interesting match-up as this game wears on. Their physical approach to the game is bound to clash at times, as it just did for a Portugal free-kick.
Nani is too clever for his own good, as his Hollywood pass attempt ends up over the touchline for a throw to the visitors.
Risky is an understatement to describe Norway's defending, as they are far too casual in their approach to clearing danger! A simple clearance should've been the end of it, but it was ping pong in the Norwegian box!
The same thing happens at the opposite end, as it is Pedersen who balloons his shot over when it was easier to aim for the target!!
Portugal are undoubtedly the better team, as the football they are playing at times has been delightful, but they just can't seem to find that killer ball thus far.
It's Pereira's turn to put in a shift from the right hand side, as his floating cross finds Ronaldo's head, but he can't direct his attempt on goal.
Raul Meireles's right peg has been a real positive for Liverpool this season, and he almost caught Jarstein by surprise with a stinging shot from distance, going just over.
NORWAY GO MIGHTILY CLOSE!! A break from another failed Portuguese corner ends up in the feet of Erik Huseklepp, but his low shot forces Eduardo to dive to his right. Warning signs for Paulo Bento.
Nani is giving John Arne Riise a very hard time as again he takes on his man, with another corner resulting from it. A scramble occurs in the box, but it is finally cleared.
Nani has been electric in the opening period, as he almost sets up Joao Pereira in the box, but a corner is the product of the move instead.
Ronaldo smashes a free-kick at goal, and forces Jarstein to pull off an important save to his right! The resulting corner is wasted and Norway almost capitalise on the break, but Coentrao does well to clear the ball off for a throw.
Postiga is almost through on goal in the box, as Nani delightfully slips the ball to him past the defence. Good anticipation by Hangeland.
The ball is laid off to Meireles, who powers a low shot at goal but it goes just wide! Exciting start to proceedings here in Lisbon.
All eyes will be on Real Madrid target Coentrao, who tries to take on Hogli, but loses out.
Pedersen's free kick looked promising, but it's curled wide for a goal kick.
Meireles and Riise collide near the corner flag, as a free kick is awarded to the visitors.
Portugal hit back straight after a Norway free-kick, as Nani charges into the Norway half on the right wing, but his low cross is easily dealt ith by Jarstein.
Norway create the first opening from kick-off as Bjorn Riise smashes a volley at goal, which is well saved by Eduardo!
The match is now underway, as Norway look to extend their gap over their opponents to six points. Conversely, Portugal will want to close the gap!
The national anthems are ringing out vividly, and its now the turn of the home side. Nice to see all the players do their bit for showing the passion all of us supporters love to see.
The players now enter the field of play, in what is a packed out venue in Lisbon tonight. The hosts Portugal will be looking to take revenge against their Scandinavian opponents tonight, after losing 1-0 in Oslo last time round.
And Norway... Jarstein, Hogli, Demidov, Hangeland, J.A. Riise, Hauger, Pedersen, Grindheim, B.H. Riise, Huseklepp, Carew. Subs: Pettersen, Ruud, Henriksen, Braaten, Abdellaoue, Parr.
And here's how both sides will line up tonight! For Portugal... Eduardo, Pereira, Alves, Pepe, Coentrao, Moutinho, Meireles, Martins, Ronaldo, Postiga, Nani. Subs: Rui Patricio, Rolando, Silvio, Danny, Ruben, Varela, Almeida.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of the important Euro 2012 Group H qualifier between Portugal and Norway at the Estadio da Luz! I'm Livio and you can follow the game with me by the second on Twitter @livmc. Team news will be up shortly.
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