Portugal secured a fifth successive appearance at the UEFA European Championship finals, keeping their cool to beat ten-man Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-2 in Lisbon following Friday's 0-0 draw in Zenica.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani rocketed shots past Asmir Begović in the first half, and while Zvezdjan Misimović got one back from the penalty spot before the break, the game seemed to be up when Ronaldo's second was followed by Senad Lulić's dismissal. Emir Spahić surprisingly pulled one back after 65 minutes, but there was to be no miracle; Hélder Postiga struck twice either side of a superb Miguel Veloso set piece to make it 6-2.
The game looked to be over inside 24 minutes. First Ronaldo sent a thunderous eighth-minute free-kick over the wall and into the net, and with the visitors unable to conjure up anything in response, Nani smashed a second past Begović from open play from a similarly unlikely distance. Safet Sušić's side were offered hope, though, with Misimović finishing coolly from the spot after Fábio Coentrão was penalised for handball.
The Bosnians' world fell apart on 53 minutes, though; Ronaldo chased down a João Moutinho ball, rounded Begović and scored, and Senad Lulić was then shown two yellow cards in quick succession and dismissed. It was a shock, then, when the ten men struck back, Spahić steering Darko Maletić's ball from the left past Rui Patrício. It was less of a surprise when Portugal went on a late rampage.
First, Rúben Micael provided the ball for Hélder Postiga to sweep another fine strike inside Begović's right-hand post. Then Miguel Veloso performed his own Ronaldo tribute act, curling a free-kick into the net from out on the right. Finally, with eight minutes to go, Fábio Coentrão hared down the right to the byline, and cut back an inviting ball for Hélder Postiga to make it six.
They may have reached the finals by a circuitous route, but on this performance, Portugal will be able to cause any team problems in Poland and Ukraine next summer.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.