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Portugal defeated Liechtenstein soundly in a game that raises more questions than answers about the quality of the visitors...


Portugal's blushes were spared with a routine but slightly lacklustre victory over minnows Liechtenstein on the banks of the Rhine.

The match began with Portugal displaying more attacking intent, as the visitors almost scored in the opening minute, when Tiago raced down the right flank and sent in a cross to the centre of the box, where Hugo Almeida's header forced Peter Jehle to palm away the effort.

Another dangerous chance was produced by Portugal on nine minutes, when Bosingwa moved from the right flank towards the centre before trying his luck with a low shot from outside the box that went just inches wide of the right post.

Portugal were clearly the more dangerous side at this point and a goal seemed imminent, and it finally came 15 minutes into the game, when the ball luckily met the path of Hugo Almeida and the striker fired a powerful shot into the top left corner of Jehle's goal.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, when Simao played the ball to Raul Meireles and the Porto midfielder fired home a well-placed shot with his right foot from inside the Liechtenstein box.

And just two minutes later, Portugal found the net for a third time after Deco played Simao through and the Atletico Madrid man's low cross found Hugo Almeida, who steered the ball home from close range.

It was expected that Portugal would continue their intense pressure, but the truth is that the first period ended with no more chances produced.

The second period began with Portugal's level dropping and the players introduced by Carlos Queiroz making little contribution to the team's game.

Portugal's only chance in the second half came on 61 minutes through Hugo Almeida, who almost grabbed a hat-trick following a corner by Simao from the left but his effort went just over the bar.

The rest of the second half would be tedious, to say the least, with Liechtenstein starting to push and show some attacking moves, without relative danger, though.

It was a well-deserved win for Portugal, who had just 20 minutes of good football, but certainly a disappointing showing by Queiroz's side less than a month before two crucial qualifying matches against Denmark and Hungary.

Liechtenstein 0-3 Portugal
0-1 Hugo Almeida 15'
0-2 Raul Meireles 23'
0-3 Hugo Almeida 26'

Liechtenstein (4-4-2): Jehle; Ritzberger (Christen, 45'), Martin Stocklasa, Michael Stocklasa (Roger Beck, 74'), Oehri, Ronny Buchel , Polverino (Martin Büchel, 82'), Vogt (Rechsteiner, 45'), Burgmeier, Frick (Hasler, 64'), Thomas Beck (Rohrer, 45').

Portugal (4-5-1): Eduardo (Moreira, 62'); Bosingwa, Ricardo Carvalho (Rolando, 62'), Bruno Alves (Nani, 73'), Duda Moutinho, 54'); Pepe, Raul Meireles, Tiago (Miguel, 54'), Deco, Simao (Eliseu, 62'); Hugo Almeida.

Luís Mira, Goal.com

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