|1||Joubert (GK)||12||Rui Patrício (GK)|
|12||Oberweis (GK)||22||Beto (GK)|
|14||Nuno André Coelho|
|Luc Holtz (LUX)||Paulo Bento (POR)|
|Kristo Tohver (EST)|
|C||Kazakhstan||Republic of Ireland|
|G||Liechtenstein||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|G||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Latvia|
Trailing after 14 minutes, Portugal were made to work hard to earn a 2-1 victory against Luxembourg in their FIFA World Cup qualifying Group F opener.
If Paulo Bento's charges were expecting an easy ride at Josy Barthel, they were soon mistaken when Daniel Da Mota, a player of Portuguese origin, gave the hosts a 14th-minute lead. Their joy was short-lived, however, Cristiano Ronaldo levelling 13 minutes later. Portugal asserted their technical proficiency after the break and conjured a decisive second goal courtesy of Hélder Postiga.
Portugal's intentions were clear in the opening exchanges with an adventurous approach, which left the door open for Luxembourg to spring a surprise. Da Mota led the charge, foraying forward and unleashing a venomous right-footed effort past Rui Patrício. Stung into action, the visitors almost offered an immediate reply, Raul Meireles forcing Jonathan Joubert into a smart stop.
Parity was just around the corner, though, Ronaldo pick-pocketing Lars Gerson and finding the net with a drilled effort. The Real Madrid CF forward was denied by a post moments later as his side threatened to break free from their shackles.
The second half bore an uncanny resemblance to the first, Portugal holding their opponents at bay with one hand and dictating it with the other. They only had to wait nine minutes to end Luxembourg's resolve, Postiga waltzing his way into a one-on-one position and coolly slotting in. The hosts had no reply and had to contend with Portugal's relentless probing which should have resulted in a third goal, only for Ronaldo to be denied at the death by Joubert.
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