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Portugal end English challenge

England 1-2 Portugal Goals from Quaresma and Hélder Postiga secure a crucial victory at Goodison Park.

Portugal ended England's qualification hopes and sealed second place in UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group 7 with a 2-1 away win at Goodison Park.

Second place assured
The victory moved the Portuguese to 15 points from seven games, four points behind group winners Turkey but, importantly, four above England. The qualifying campaign ends on 10 October, when Portugal take on Slovakia and England travel to Turkey.

Early advantage
The visitors took an early lead at Everton FC's ground, with Ricardo Quaresma converting a free-kick after Cristiano Ronaldo had been brought down. His well-struck effort beat Lee Grant at his near post from an acute angle.

Goalkeepers in action
The England goalkeeper then made good saves to deny Ricardo Quaresma and Hélder Postiga, while his opposite number Moreira reacted sharply to block a shot from Francis Jeffers.

Well-worked equaliser
However, eight minutes before half-time the home side drew level, with Jeffers again involved in the move that ended when Manchester City FC midfield player Joey Barton rolled the ball into the net from eight metres.

Further chances
Both sides created further chances at half-time, with Moreira gathering at the second attempt after Shola Ameobi's pass had played in Jeffers. Ameobi, Jeffers and Jermain Defoe all went close, as did Cristiano Ronaldo, who also created a chance for Quaresma to strike a shot that dipped just over the crossbar.

Late drama
However, 12 minutes from time, the visitors sealed all three points, as Hugo Viana's free-kick was deflected into the net by Hélder Postiga. England had one last chance to equalise for a second time, but Barton's low cross across the face of goal evaded the onrushing attackers and Portugal held on.