Thursday, 16 August 2012

Ronaldo On Target As Portugal Beat Panama 2-0

FARO: Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 36th international goal and Nelson Oliveira scored his first as Portugal beat Panama 2-0 in a friendly game on Wednesday.

Ronaldo span around on the edge of the area and fired a half-volley past Jaime Penedo in the 51st minute after Panama midfielder Gabriel Gomez was sent off for elbowing Joao Moutinho.

Oliveira, viewed as one of Portugal's up-and-coming players for the 2014 World Cup, put the host ahead in the 30th with a left-foot shot on his first start.

Portugal's dominance was never in doubt at the Algarve Stadium in southern Portugal, though Panama striker Edwin Aguilar occasionally rattled the home team's defence.

Coach Paulo Bento made six changes to the team that lost in a penalty shootout against Spain in the semifinals of the European Championship in June.

The match marked the start of Portugal's preparations to qualify for the World Cup. Portugal is in qualifying Group F for the tournament in Brazil. It will face Russia, Israel, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg.

With a one-man advantage Portugal was rarely troubled, though it squandered a series of chances to extend its lead, with Ronaldo, Ruben Micael and Hugo Almeida guilty of poor finishing while Nani hit the goal frame. At the other end, Alberto Quintero forced a reflex save from goalkeeper Beto in the 67th.


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