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06.02.2013 » Portugal 2-3 Ecuador. Friendly but still painful to watch!

Cristiano Ronaldo, free-kick stance in Portugal 2013

Portugal failed to leave a good impression to their own fans this Wednesday night, in an international friendly match played against Ecuador. The South American side visited the city of Guimarães and imposed an harsh 2-3 loss to the Lusitanos, in a game that accounted for many compromising individual mistakes. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his team's first goal and was in fact one of the few Portuguese players performing well last night...

Portugal hosted Ecuador this Wednesday, in a friendly game meant to prepare the next round of matches for Brazil's 2014 World Cup qualification stage. However, things didn't go the way the Portuguese were certainly expecting and they saw the visitors coming on top at the end, with a 2-3 victory. Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his 28th birthday just the day before (Tuesday), but appearently didn't earn his desired gift from his teammates, as there were plenty of individual mistakes being made throughout the game... However, the Real Madrid forward still seized an opportunity to score a beautiful goal deep in the first half, which equalised the game 1-1 at the time. The Portuguese National Team will now have to improve a lot before the two away games coming up in March against Israel and Azerbaijan, otherwise, the qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, might very well become an impossible mission.

Cristiano Ronaldo photos in Portugal vs Ecuador
Portugal
2-3 Ecuador goals and highlights:

The match started in a promising manner for the Portuguese side. With less than 1 minute ran on the clock, Cristiano Ronaldo and Hélder Postiga got close to score, but neither of them managed to beat Ecuador's goalkeeper. The response came quite fast, as the visitors' first attempt to threaten Eduardo resulted in a goal. Jefferson was given some space on the left, put in a cross for the far post and the Portuguese goalkeeper mistimed his action, allowing for Manchester United's winger, Antonio Valencia, to easily head it into the back of the net, after leaving Real Madrd's left-back Fábio Coentrão, on his back.

Portugal had started the game with the wrong foot, but at least the team didn't seem to get much affected by the early goal and still managed to pass the ball around with speed and good criteria. Against the flow of the game, Ecuador managed to dispose of a great chance to extend their lead, but saw Eduardo making a great save and denying Felipe Caicedo just a few meters ahead of the goal line. A few minutes later, the Portuguese reached the equaliser, after a beautiful backheel assist from Fábio Coentrão and a non less beautiful finish from Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid star brilliantly got away from his marker with a classy touch and then thundered in a strike that had no possibility of being saved.

Things were appearently getting back on track, even though the score would remain tied at 1 goal until half-time. Portugal gained the lead for the first time on the night near the 59th minute, after a good attacking initiative from the other Manchester United winger on the pitch, Nani, who sent in a low cross into the heart of the area and which was met by Hélder Postiga, after quickly anticipating an Ecuador's defender.

Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Portugal and wearing the new black kit and jersey, in 2013

All of a sudden it seemed like Portugal had the game completely in their control, as not only the performance so far had been quite pleasant, but also the result was now more in line with the level of football played on the pitch. However and similarly to what had already happened in the first Ecuador's goal, Paulo Bento's men commited a big mistake less than a minute after their goal celebrations and allowed for the visitors to put things square once again. An harmless long ball pass from an Ecuador's player resulted in a misunderstanding between João Pereira and the goalkeeper Eduardo, with the right-back defender touching the ball back inadvertently and scoring a peculiar own goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo got substituted for FC Porto's Silvestre Varela a few seconds later, while Postiga also came off to make room for Éder, Sporting de Braga's striker. The changes were already planned to be made before the equaliser took place and having in mind that the two players coming out were precisely the two goalscorers of the night, it naturally didn't help the Portuguese team improving their game, in the remaining minutes of the match...

Ecuador's still had much gas left in the tank and they didn't hold it back for too long. With roughly 70 minutes in the game, Benítez chested the ball back near Portugal's penalty box, as he had spotted Felipe Caicedo free of any marking. The former Manchester City forward then blasted a strike into the right top corner of Eduardo's goal, making it 2-3 for Ecuador and putting Portugal into a really bad spot in the game... From that point onwards and with only 20 minutes left to be played, frustration gradually took over the Portuguese players and Ecuador managed to hang on to the lead until the final whistle, with more or less work.

Fortunately, this Wednesday night game was no more than a friendly, which means nothing was actually jeopardized in terms of the 2014 World Cup qualification aspirations. However, the impression left was quite poor, especially in what concerns the lack of concentration in defensive actions, which allowed and led Ecuador to inflict a reasonable amount of damage into the Portuguese defence. Portugal will now face Israel on March 22 and Azerbaijan on March 26, knowing that the margin of error is quite minimal at this stage, with a presence at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on the line...

Cristiano Ronaldo black heel trick, with pink boots and an all-black kit of the Portuguese National Team, in 2013

Portugal line-up vs Ecuador:

Goalkeeper: Eduardo
Defenders: João Pereira, Bruno Alves, Luís Neto, Fábio Coentrão
Midfielders: Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Raúl Meireles
Attackers: Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo and Hélder Postiga

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Portugal
vs
Ecuador
2
Goals
3
19
Shots
9
9
Shots on goal
3
5
Corner kicks
3
10
Fouls commited
27
2
Yellow cards
5
0
Red cards
0
68%
Ball possession
32%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Sevilla, for the Spanish League "La Liga", on February 9, 2013. You can watch Juventus live stream, Real Madrid vs Sevilla, Barcelon vs Getafe, Southampton vs Manchester City and Sunderland vs Arsenal, all matches provided from our football live streaming section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Sevilla
kick-off time (09-02-2013):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+8: 04:00
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 22:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 21:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-1: 19:00
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 16:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 13:00
Beijing (China) | GMT-7: 13:00

Sources: ronaldo7.net / espnfc.com / uefa.com

Cristiano Ronaldo putting his hands in front of his face, as he seems ashamed during a game for Portugal in 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo about to expire a lot of air, in Portugal 2-3 Ecuador, in a friendly in 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo running around the pitch in Guimarães, after scoring for Portugal against Ecuador, in a friendly match in 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo complaining and showing his frustration, in Portugal 2-3 Ecuador, in 2013

Raúl Meireles and Fábio Coentrão celebrating goal with Cristiano Ronaldo, in 2013

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