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Portugal fans the key says Alves

Published: Monday 14 November 2011, 9.47CET
Two years on from his play-off winner against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Lisbon, Portugal defender Bruno Alves has urged home fans to roar his side on to a repeat victory on Tuesday.
by José Nuno Pimentel
from Lisbon
Portugal fans the key says Alves
The moment Portugal's Bruno Alves would like to recreate on Tuesday night ©Getty Images
 
Published: Monday 14 November 2011, 9.47CET

Portugal fans the key says Alves

Two years on from his play-off winner against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Lisbon, Portugal defender Bruno Alves has urged home fans to roar his side on to a repeat victory on Tuesday.

Portugal defender Bruno Alves has urged his country's fans to help Paulo Bento's men beat Bosnia and Herzegovina in Lisbon on Tuesday as they try to book a place in the UEFA European Championship for the fifth time in a row.

After the 0-0 draw in Zenica on Friday, the experienced FC Zenit St Petersburg central defender, who turns 30 later this month, hopes that a full Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica will witness Portugal's qualification for UEFA EURO 2012. "I ask everyone to come and help to create a difficult atmosphere for them, just like they did for us," said Alves." We will certainly feel that support."

In his 46 caps, Alves has scored five goals, including the FIFA World Cup play-off first-leg strike at the same stadium against the same opposition two years ago to the day that clinched a 1-0 win, which Portugal then matched in the return. "There are no two identical matches but I would like to score again," Alves said.

"I believed that the Bosnians could lose the ball so I stayed in attack following a corner and scored at the far post. Deco won the ball, passed it to Nani and he delivered a perfect cross. I believe that it will be a difficult match as it was two years ago."

Alves continued: "We are expecting them to play a similar game to the one they did [in the first leg], playing on the counterattack but perhaps with more circulation of the ball. They defend well and make good transitions. We are prepared for every scenario, we don't want to concede and we want to score. That is our main goal: to win. It will be difficult but our team have enough quality to go through."

Talking about his central defender partner Pepe, who returned to the team after injury with a fantastic display in Zenica, Alves said: "Pepe is a world class player. The team was united and had a fantastic attitude." Apart from third-choice goalkeeper Beto, who sustained an abductor injury in his right leg in Sunday's training session, the entire Portugal squad is fit.

Last updated: 15/11/11 13.20CET

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