* Portugal had a good first half against Cyprus in Nicosia in their Euro 2012
qualifier. They went in at half-time 1-0 up but it could have been more, given the chances they were creating, and João Pereira and Pepe especially could have done more with the ones they had. The goal came on 34 minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo scoring from the spot. João Moutinho had shot from outside the area, Dobrasinovic handled inside, the ref pointed to the spot and Dobrasinovic saw a second yellow.
With more than an hour in numerical superiority, Portugal should have rammed home their dominance, but the second half was a limp affair, with Portugal only really bothering Giorgallides on 56 minutes when
Coentrão hit the post. All the time the difference was one goal, Portugal were open to the sucker punch; indeed, 12 minutes from time, the excellent Okkas was put through on goal but was pulled up for an offside
that clearly did not exist.
As if stung into action by the threat, Portugal turned the heat up and on 82 minutes got the goal that meant they could breathe a sigh of relief, Cristiano Ronaldo working himself
into position to the left of the goal and firing in a cross shot. In his celebrations, he gestured for the crowd to be quiet – they'd been mocking him with chants of "Messi, Messi" – and he saw a yellow card for it.
Cyprus resistance wilted from this point, and two of the subs finished them off: Hugo Almeida stroked home a Cristiano Ronaldo cutback from the left on 84 minutes, and in added time, Danny took a through ball
from Moutinho on his thigh before clipping it in to make it 4-0. (highlights)
It was a
good result from a relatively poor display, and it takes Portugal to the top of Group H, level with Norway, who beat Iceland 1-0 in Oslo. Portugal's next game is at home to Iceland on 7 October.
Giorgallides, Poursaitidis, Merkis, Christou, Avraam, Dobrasinovic, Makridis (Nicolaou 37), Charalambides (Alexandrou 63), Christofi (Efrem 80), Demetriou, Okkas.
Rui Patrício, João Pereira, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Fábio Coentrão, Raúl Meireles, João Moutinho, Rúben Micael (Miguel Veloso 63), Nani (Danny 85), Cristiano Ronaldo, Hélder Postiga (Hugo Almeida 76).
* Yannick Djaló's move from Sporting to Nice has hit a hitch: the documents to register the move were not submitted in time, and the French club will have to apply to UEFA to allow it.
* Boavista, Portuguese champions ten years ago but now in the Segunda Divisão (third tier), have not been allowed to register for the new league season because of unnamed creditors, including 23 ex-players and one club, who are claiming a total of two million euros.
* quotes of the day
"We won, and that's what's important." Portugal midfielder João Moutinho after a poor display but a 4-0 win over Cyprus.
"I'm no Judas. I didn't go to Chelsea for the money." Portuguese international midfielder Raul Meireles.
"Capdevila is totally demoralised." The Benfica full-back's agent Horácio Gaggioli after coach Jorge Jesus leaves the Spanish international out of the squad for the Champions League.
* Central defender Ricardo Carvalho
left the Portuguese training camp in Óbidos on Wednesday, and he's not coming back. In a press release, he said: "If they make me feel like I'm not wanted and they don't tell me, then the only thing to do is leave. [...] I've played 75 times for my country and have been deeply dedicated to defending the team's good name, but never before have I felt so disrespected and my dignity hurt. Among my peers, I'm just another player. However, like the others, I deserve consideration and respect." The trigger for the Real Madrid defender's decision remains unclear.
* There was feverish activity on the domestic transfer market as the transfer deadline loomed, but not so many significant moves:
have sold Hélder Postiga to Spanish club Zaragoza for one million euros, half of which will go to FC Porto due to a contractual stipulation. Sporting can expect to receive more depending on Postiga's performance.
* Sporting forward Yannick Djaló has reportedly joined French club Nice for 4.5 million euros, with Sporting retaining 25% of the player.
* Sporting have also loaned Argentinian left back Grimi to Belgian club Genk and midfielder Zezinho, 18, to second tier club Atlético.
* Benfica have extended the contract of Uruguayan wide player Urretavizcaya, 21, until 2015 and loaned him out to Vitória de Guimarães.
* Vitória de Guimarães have sold Brazilian midfielder Renan Silva to Romanian club Cluj for a reported 200 thousand euros.
* Feirense have signed Brazilian left winger Anderson Melo, 21, from Brazilian club Grémio Anápolis.
* Gil Vicente have signed Cape Verdean midfielder Sidnei for a season; he was a free agent but most recently represented Marítimo.
* Haitian full back Jean Sony has joined Rio Ave from Leixões.
* Fábio Felício of Rio Ave and André Villas Boas of Marítimo have swapped clubs.
* Forward Orlando Sá announced on his site that he has signed for English club Fulham for three seasons. He recently terminated his contractual position with FC Porto.
* quote of the day
"If they make me feel like I'm not wanted and they don't tell me, then the only thing to do is leave." Ricardo Carvalho quits the Selecção for good.