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12.10.2012 » Russia 1-0 Portugal. Harsh loss in Moscow holds Portuguese ambition

Cristiano Ronaldo with dirt on his face during Russia vs Portugal game, for the 2014 World Cup qualification stage

Portugal dropped the first points at the 2014 World Cup qualifying group stage, after losing against Russia in Moscow, by 1-0. Cristiano Ronaldo started the game on the line-up despite having picked up a small injury last week against Barcelona, but was unable to lead the Portuguese National Team to a good result in Russian lands.

Russia hosted Portugal at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow this Friday afternoon and an early goal from Kerzhakov at the 6th minute of the 1st half, turned out to be enough to defeat the Portuguese side by 1-0. Paulo Bento's men dominated most of the game but slammed against a well prepared Russian defensive wall, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone if we have in mind that it is Fabio Capello who is pulling the strings on this Russian National Team. Cristiano Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes, but just like the rest of his teammates, he struggled to find spaces and very rarely managed to be close to score. With this victory, Russia now leads Group F with 9 points and leaves Portugal behind with 6, as we now complete the 3rd matchday of this qualification stage, for Brazil's 2014 World Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Russia vs Portugal
Russia 1-0 Portugal goals and highlights:

The 2014 World Cup qualification group stage includes a 10-game package for each team competing and a victory at Moscow this Friday would have surely been a golden step towards Portugal's main objective of assuring their presence in Brazil, in roughly 2 years from now. However, Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates didn't succeed in coming off from Russia with any point on the bag and will now delay any decisive match for later stages in 2013 and possibly 2014.

Fabio Capello did warn this past Thursday that his side was going to follow a strict gameplan that would increase their chances of beating Portugal. The Italian manager wasn't bluffing and we all witnessed a Russian side incorporating a classic "catenaccio" playing style. Russia blocks and lines were always very tight and near each oher, while at the same time, the counter-attacks strategy ended paying off very early in the game, after an error was made by the Portuguese midfield and defense players. From that moment onwards, Capello knew he wouldn't have to bother in risking much more than what he already had in mind in the beginning of the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick in Russia 1-0 Portugal, for the 2014 World Cup qualifying group stage

It took no more than 6 minutes for Russia to take the lead and put Portugal in trouble. Paulo Bento's men were trying to initiate a play right from their defensive line, but felt the Russian players pressing hard, which ended up forcing a mistake. SC Braga's midfielder, Rúben Micael, failed to connect his pass in a dangerous area and allowed Shirokov to immediatly assist Kerzhakov for a 1-on-1 situation against Rui Patrício. The Zenit St Petersburg's forward didn't miss his chance and put the Russian side one goal up.

There was plenty of time left to be played, but with an Italian manager on the bench, a team on the lead very rarely expose themselves to dangerous situations. Russia granted the game's control to Portugal, who clearly dominated the ball possession until the end of the clash. However, the lack of spaces and the bad pitch conditions were basically two huge obstacles that the Portuguese players proved not to be able to deal with. Despite the dominance, Russia resisted to all the Portuguese attempts of getting an equalizer and limited themselves to launch a few counter-attacks every now and then.

The result wouldn't suffer any further change and Russia pulled off what can turn out to be a highly valuable victory and 3 points. With 7 matches left to be played for each team, Russia counts with a perfect start (3 games and 3 wins), while Portugal will have to get back to the winning track next Tuesday, as they will be hosting Northern Ireland for the 2014 World Cup Group F, Gameday 4.

Cristiano Ronaldo taking off the captain's armband, in Russia 1-0 Portugal, at the 2014 World Cup qualifying rounds

Portugal line-up vs Russia:

Goalkeeper: Rui Patrício
Defenders: Fábio Coentrão, Pepe, Bruno Alves, João Pereira
Midfielders: Miguel Veloso, Rúben Micael, João Moutinho
Attackers: Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo and Hélder Postiga

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Russia
vs
Portugal
1
Goals
0
-
Shots
-
-
Shots on goal
-
-
Corner kicks
-
-
Fouls commited
-
-
Yellow cards
-
-
Red cards
-
-
Ball possession
-

Cristiano Ronaldo's next game will be for Portugal and against Northern Ireland, for the World Cup 2014 qualification stage, next Tuesday (16-10-2012). You can watch Juventus live stream, Portugal vs Northern Ireland, Spain vs France, Poland vs England and Germany vs Sweden, all matches provided from our football live streams section.

Portugal next game:
Portugal vs Northern Ireland
kick-off time (16-10-2012):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+8: 03:45
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 21:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 20:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-1: 18:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 15:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 12:45
Beijing (China) | GMT-7: 12:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / record.pt

João Moutinho dominating Portugal's midfield against Russia, for the World Cup 2014 qualifying group stage

Cristiano Ronaldo powerful shot body stance, leaning it forward to gain more power, in 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo showing his beautiful face and smile, while playing for Portugal in 2012-2013

Nani playing for Portugal against Russia, in 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo with Nani, Pepe and Bruno Alves, ready to meet a cross from a corner kick, in Russia vs Portugal, in 2012-2013

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