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Portugal's woes continue with Turkey defeat

Published: Saturday 2 June 2012, 23.45CET
Portugal 1-3 Turkey
Umut Bulut struck twice as the visitors inflicted a surprise defeat on Paulo Bento's men, who have yet to record a victory in 2012.
by José Nuno Pimentel
Portugal's woes continue with Turkey defeat
Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Portugal suffered another defeat ©AFP
Published: Saturday 2 June 2012, 23.45CET

Portugal's woes continue with Turkey defeat

Portugal 1-3 Turkey
Umut Bulut struck twice as the visitors inflicted a surprise defeat on Paulo Bento's men, who have yet to record a victory in 2012.

Portugal suffered another setback in their preparations for UEFA EURO 2012 and will travel to the tournament without a win this year after losing 3-1 at home against Turkey.

Having previously recorded goalless draws with Poland and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2012, Portugal were undone in the second half as Umut Bulut scored twice. Nani restored a little hope for the hosts by halving the deficit and Cristiano Ronaldo missed the chance to level from the spot before Pepe's late own goal sealed the result.

Miguel Lopes and Custódio earned their first caps for Paulo Bento's side, who were backed by a 65,000-strong crowd at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Lisbon. Bento made six changes to the team that was held by FYROM, with Lopes starting at right-back and Hugo Almeida replacing fellow forward Hélder Postiga, and it was Almeida who enjoyed the first chance of the evening when he headed wide from a Ronaldo cross in the first minute.

Portugal were making a bright start and Volkan Demirel then did well to keep out a Ronaldo free-kick, before his counterpart Rui Patrício denied a good chance for Burak Yılmaz. The tempo dropped thereafter until the fans were roused into voice when Almeida headed against the crossbar on the half-hour, Pepe having diverted a João Moutinho corner into his path.

Turkey responded quickly, however, with Hamit Altıntop striking a post from a free-kick before Bulut took advantage of too much space at the back to score moments later. Latching on to a cross from the left, he got ahead of Fábio Coentrão and slid in from close range.

Demirel denied Ronaldo as the hosts looked to level and Turkey increased their lead seven minutes after the break when a mistake from Miguel Veloso allowed Bulut to fire in a powerful shot. Nani brought his team back into the match with a fine low effort inside the far post from the right, yet they missed their chance to equalise when Demirel saved Ronaldo's spot kick, Emre Belözoğlu having fouled Lopes.

Substitute Ricardo Costa also threatened to level the scores only for Demirel to impress again and, despite serious pressure from Portugal in the last few minutes, it was the visitors who next found the net - Costa's attempted clearance hitting Pepe and crossing the goal line. Bento and his charges will hope for a different outcome when they start their Group B campaign against Germany on 9 June.

Last updated: 03/06/12 0.39CET

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