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Portugal end winless streak at ten-man Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan 0-2 Portugal
Bruno Alves's second goal in as many games and a Hugo Almeida strike 11 minutes from time secured victory against the ten-man hosts.

Portugal players celebrate their vital win in Azerbaijan
Portugal players celebrate their vital win in Azerbaijan ©AFP/Getty Images

Bruno Alves and Hugo Almeida were on target to help Portugal secure their first FIFA World Cup qualifying win in four matches at the expense of ten-man Azerbaijan.

All the action came in the second half as the visitors capitalised on Rauf Aliyev's 55th-minute dismissal to open the scoring through Alves's second goal in as many games. Almeida sealed the victory 11 minutes from time to move Portugal to within a point of section leaders Russia, who have played two games fewer.

Paulo Bento's side were without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani in Baku but keen to get back on track after a loss to Russia and successive draws against Northern Ireland and Israel. Indeed, they came close to an opener only for Hélder Postiga to fire over from close range before Alves struck the frame of the goal with a free-kick.

The game then burst into life after the break when Aliyev received his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Portugal made the most of their numerical advantage when Alves headed in João Moutinho's corner to score his third qualifying goal.

Almeida then sealed the victory for the UEFA EURO 2012 semi-finalists on 79 minutes. Next up for Portugal is a home game against Russia on 7 June, when Azerbaijan host Luxembourg.