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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Estadio da Luz (ATT 29,971) 11th September 2012 - Kick off 20:15 Ref: Szymon Marciniak

Portugal Portugal vs Azerbaijan Azerbaijan

Portugal 3

S Varela (63)
H Postiga (85)
B Alves (88)

ft

Azerbaijan 0

Portugal save face

Last Updated: 11/09/12 11:13pm

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Silvestre Varela: Scored as a substitute for Portugal

Silvestre Varela: Scored as a substitute for Portugal

Substitute Silvestre Varela needed just 82 seconds to fire Portugal on the way to a face-saving World Cup qualifier win over Azerbaijan.

The Porto frontman's 63rd-minute finish, which came almost immediately after he had replaced Miguel Veloso, finally gave the Portuguese the lead in a tense Group F encounter which was not settled until Helder Postiga and Bruno Alves struck inside the final five minutes.

But on a night when luck deserted Paulo Bento's men for long periods, the home side had earlier hit the woodwork on no fewer than four occasions, while Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo also saw a series of chances go begging in Braga.

Victory left Portugal locked together with leaders Russia on six points at the top of the group following a resounding 4-0 win in Israel for Fabio Capello's side.

Alves might have fired Portugal ahead within five minutes, but saw his shot from Raul Meireles' corner blocked by Mahir Shukurov, and Azerbaijan keeper Kamran Agayev had to tip Meireles' shot around the post six minutes later.

Postiga rattled the crossbar with an 18th-minute drive and Joao Moutinho repeated the feat five minutes later as Agayev's goal led a charmed life.

The keeper kept the visitors in it with a saves from Moutinho and Veloso, but needed the help of a post to deny Postiga on the stroke of half-time.

Ronaldo was denied by an upright six minutes after the restart and then saw Agayev punch away a 30-yard piledriver with the keeper proving more stubborn than the men in front of him.

The former Manchester United man missed the target from inside the penalty area with 58 minutes played and then saw a 79th-minute overhead kick turned around the post.

Varela eventually opened the scoring with a right-foot finish from 12 yards barely a minute after being called from the bench, and although Agayev kept Nani, Ronaldo and Joao Pereira at bay, the respite was temporary.

Postiga converted Ronaldo's 85th-minute flick-on to ease the nerves and then Alves headed home Moutinho's corner three minutes later as Portugal eased across the finishing line.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Tue 11th Sep - Group E
    Tue 11th Sep - Group F
    Tue 11th Sep - Group I
    Tue 11th Sep - Group D
    Tue 11th Sep - Group B
    Tue 11th Sep - Group G
    • Bos & Herz
      4 - 1
      Latvia
      bet
      TV
    • Slovakia
      2 - 0
      Liechtenstein
      bet
      TV
    • Greece
      2 - 0
      Lithuania
      bet
      TV
    Tue 11th Sep - Group A
    Tue 11th Sep - Group H
    Tue 11th Sep - Group C

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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