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Portugal saved by Alves and woodwork

14 November 2009 23:50

LISBON (AFP) - Portugal, playing without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, were clinging to their World Cup dreams on Saturday after only managing a 1-0 win over Bosnia Herzegovina in their play-off first leg.

It could have been a black night for the star-studded Portuguese side who were saved by the woodwork on three occasions, including twice in the last minute.

Porto defender Bruno Alves, who gave Portugal a fortunate winner in a qualifying round win over Albania, was on target again on Saturday with a powerful backpost header after 31 minutes for the game's only goal.

It was reward for Portugal's attacking pressure, but Bosnia, bidding to reach a first World Cup finals, were unlucky not to be level before the break.

With Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo hopelessly out of position at a corner, Senijad Ibricic crashed a header against the crossbar.

Portugal, the 2006 semi-finalists, should have been 2-0 ahead on the hour mark when Chelsea playmaker Deco jinked away from his markers before crossing to Liedson who sliced his shot just wide. Moments later Deco saw a goal-bound drive deflected away by a defender.

Bosnia still looked for an equaliser and were again denied by the woodwork in the last minute.

Edin Dzeko's far-post header came off the crossbar while Zlatan Muslimovic's quick reaction volley came off the post.

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Info

Competition
WC Qualification Europe
Date
14 November 2009
Kick-off
21:30
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
1 - 0
On aggregate
2 - 0

Goals

1 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

Friday 29 August

Thursday 28 August

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Wednesday 27 August

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