Danny Rose's strike late in the first half was enough to give England victory against UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 9 rivals Portugal at Wembley.
A sell-out 33,833 crowd braved high winds and driving rain, and were rewarded when Rose, a veteran of England's run to the 2009 final in Sweden, opened his U21 account. Stuart Pearce's unbeaten side are now within three points of leaders Greece, with a game in hand, and six ahead of Portugal.
The need to close the gap to Greece ensured both teams took a positive approach and England's lone forward Andy Carroll only just failed to connect with an incisive tenth-minute Rose cross. At the other end, Yazalde shot over after being set up by Bruno Pereirinha and as the pitch became increasingly slick, Portugal began to have the better of the play with their quick passing style orchestrated by Rui Pedro. However, it was England who broke the deadlock on 40 minutes, Michael Mancienne's high ball into the box headed down by Carroll for Rose to slip a shot past Ventura.
Portugal endured a frustrating start to the second half and just before the hour introduced Tiago Cintra for his U21 debut on the left of the front three. England's centre-back partnership of experienced captain Micah Richards and, on his first start, Christopher Smalling allowed them few sights of goal, though. With only one point from their last three qualifiers, Portugal will be desperate for victory against Greece in Olhao on Tuesday, when England visit Lithuania.