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Messi on the spot against Portugal

Published: Wednesday 9 February 2011, 23.15CET
Argentina 2-1 Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have earned his side a draw but Lionel Messi's penalty condemned Paulo Bento to his first defeat as coach.
Messi on the spot against Portugal
Lionel Messi of Argentina is pressured by Portugal's João Moutinho ©AFP

Match statistics

ArgentinaPortugal

Goals scored2
 
1
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0

International Matches

Published: Wednesday 9 February 2011, 23.15CET

Messi on the spot against Portugal

Argentina 2-1 Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have earned his side a draw but Lionel Messi's penalty condemned Paulo Bento to his first defeat as coach.

Argentina 2-1 Portugal
A 90th-minute Lionel Messi penalty earned Argentina a 2-1 win against Portugal, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo had earlier cancelled out Ángel Di María's opener.

Paulo Bento's unbeaten start to his Portugal reign had appeared under threat as soon as Di Maria applied a clinical finish after 14 minutes in Geneva. The Real Madrid CF winger was able to pounce after typically excellent play from Messi, who picked up the ball on the right flank before cutting inside and releasing an incisive pass.

Determined to register a goal of his own, the FIFA Ballon d'Or winner was soon denied by a superb Eduardo save, which appeared all the more important just seven minutes later when Ronaldo evened up the scores. The Madrid forward, level with Messi atop the Spanish Liga scoring charts, reacted first to João Pereira's deflected cross and found the target.

A Hugo Almeida header struck the woodwork soon after half-time, Ronaldo spurning the rebound, before the new Beşiktaş JK striker then missed a gaping goal from close range. Ronaldo was replaced, but Messi – who had a free-kick well saved – remained, supplying the set piece from which Javier Pastore struck the frame of the goal.

There was still time for the FC Barcelona maestro to have the final say, however, and he converted from the spot after Manuel Martínez had been felled by Fábio Coentrão.

 
Last updated: 16/04/12 7.34CET

http://www.uefa.com/friendlies/season=2012/matches/round=2000293/match=2007963/postmatch/report/index.html#messi+penalty+beats+portugal

 
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