Portugal remain second in their FIFA World Cup qualifying section after a 1-1 home draw with Israel that assures the Selecção of at least a runners-up finish in Group F.
A Portugal team showing several changes, including SL Benfica's André Almeida making his debut on the right side of defence, from the usual XI favoured by Paulo Bento went in front courtesy of Ricardo Costa's opportunistic header on 27 minutes. The hosts, though, did not build on their advantage and, with full time approaching, Eden Ben Basat punished a poor clearance by goalkeeper Rui Patrício.
The home side took the initiative from the off in Lisbon and were soon giving the Israel defence cause for concern, with Rúben Micael shooting narrowly wide from Hugo Almeida's link-up play. As the match wore on, though, the visitors grew in confidence and passed up a chance to take the lead themselves through Ben Basat.
Jolted by that scare, Portugal upped the tempo, forcing a corner when goalkeeper Dudu Aouate denied Rúben Micael. From João Moutinho’s delivery, Ricardo Costa scored his first international goal.
Hugo Almeida was first to threaten after the restart with a header that flew over the crossbar. Ricardo Costa, substitute Nélson Oliveira and Antunes also went close, but it was Israel who got the game's crucial second goal with five minutes remaining. Under pressure, Rui Patrício cleared only as far as Ben Basat, who made no mistake.