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31.05.2014 » Portugal 0-0 Greece. First test before the World Cup!

Hugo Almeida fighting for the ball in the air, in Portugal 0-0 Greece

Portugal and Greece didn't go beyond a goalless draw this Saturday evening at the "Estádio do Jamor" in Oeiras, in a game where Cristiano Ronaldo was spared by Paulo Bento. The Real Madrid forward is still recovering from an injury and he might also be at risk for the upcoming two friendlies against Mexico and Ireland.

Tonight's friendly between Portugal and Greece ended with a goalless draw (0-0), as both teams prepare their participation in this summer's World Cup. The biggest absence in this game was obviously Cristiano Ronaldo, who is still going through a specific training plan to overcome a few minor injuries before the 2014 World Cup kicks off. As expected and without the Real Madrid forward on the pitch, the Portuguese Team never managed to create many goal-scoring chances and with the two sides presenting very organized defensive blocks, the 0-0 ended up being a fair and the most logical result. Portugal will now travel to the United States next Monday (June 2), where they'll meet Mexico in Boston (on June 6) at the Gillette Stadium and finally Ireland in New Jersey on June 10. We'll have to wait a few more days in order to know if Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing in any of those...

Portugal 0-0 Greece goals and highlights video:

With Cristiano Ronaldo unavailable for this Saturday's game, Paulo Bento looked at this match as a good opportunity to perform a few tests with the Portuguese squad. Pepe and Raúl Meireles were also ruled out for tonight due to physical problems, while usual starters like Rui Patrício, Fábio Coentrão and João Moutinho were kept on the bench during the whole game. Therefore, this starting line-up we've seen playing against Greece tonight, might in fact still suffer a lot of changes when the Portuguese Team steps onto the Arena Fonte Nova pitch (in Salvador) on June 16, in order to lock horns with Germany in their debut in this summer's FIFA World Cup 2014.

One of the most positive notes of tonight's friendly was the possibility to confirm that in addition to Ronaldo, Portugal might count with another "joker" and decisive player in this World Cup. We're talking about Manchester United's winger Nani, who seem to have been forgotten by David Moyes this season, but surprisingly looked very sharp and determined tonight against Greece. He only had 13 appearances for United this year, as he struggled not only in succeeding to prove his value to David Moyes, but also ended up picking a few injuries that surely didn't help him much in settling into the team.

Portugal showed a good ability to keep the ball in their possession, but without Cristiano Ronaldo's dynamism upfront, the "Selecção" never managed to seriously threaten the Greek's goal. The two men picked by Paulo Bento to carry the more attacking duties tonight were Éder from Sporting de Braga and Hélder Postiga from Lazio, both coming from a quite inactive and forcibly poor football club season.

Portugal line-up and starting eleven against Greece, in 2014

While Éder played in 14 games and only netted 3 goals, Postiga didn't do much better in Valencia (first-half of the season) and then in Lazio (where he has been on loan after January). The 31-year old forward had a total of 19 apperances and 3 goals for the two clubs he represented this season, which might be seen as a worrying sign whenever Ronaldo isn't around to score the necessary goals. That being said, we can't really say we got disappointed with their lack of proficiency in front of goal tonight...

The Portuguese midfield didn't look very bad actually and if we have in mind that the real engine of this team was seated on the bench (João Moutinho), it's probably safe to say that things will only get better when the AS Monaco player starts giving his contribute on the pitch. Moreover, Raúl Meireles was also sidelined for tonight's friendly and he's expected to be a regular once he fully recovers his fitness. The Fenerbahçe midfielder is surely one of the most experienced players in this squad and he'll bring up more criteria and consistency into a critical area of the field.

As for the defense, there's not much to point out, but just like it happened with the other team sectors, a few key players ended up not getting any playing minutes at all. On the other hand, João Pereira and Bruno Alves looked very focused and acute in almost every moment of the game and hopefully they'll soon have the chance to be joined by Real Madrid's players Pepe and Fábio Coentrão, in order to form a stronger defensive block during Portugal's World Cup campaign in Brazil.

Portugal was drawn in the World Cup's Group G with Germany, Ghana and the USA, while Greece will have to measure strengths against Colombia, Japan and the Ivory Coast in Group C. The tournament starts next June 12, with a Brazil vs Croatia clash opening this major event.

João Pereira dribbling Samaras in Portugal vs Greece

Portugal line-up vs Greece:

Goalkeeper: Eduardo
Defenders: André Almeida, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Costa, João Pereira
Midfielders: William Carvalho, Miguel Veloso, Varela, Nani
Attackers: Hélder Postiga, Éder.

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Portugal
vs
Greece
0
Goals
0
12
Shots
2
6
Shots on goal
1
13
Corner kicks
3
-
Fouls commited
-
0
Yellow cards
0
0
Red cards
0
57%
Ball possession
43%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game will be a friendly for Portugal and against Mexico on June 6 of 2014. You can watch Juventus live stream, Mexico vs Portugal, Sweden vs Belgium, Germany vs Cameroon, and USA vs Turkey, all matches provided from our soccer streaming pages.

Portugal next game:
Mexico vs Portugal
kick-off time (06-06-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 07:30
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 02:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 01:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 21:30
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 20:30
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7 17:30
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 08:30

Sources: ronaldo7.net / abcnews.com / yahoo.com

Miguel Veloso getting tackled in Portugal vs Greece in 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo biting his nails

Fábio Coentrão, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, in the Portuguese bench

Cristiano Ronaldo in good mood, laughing next to Fábio Coentrão

Cristiano Ronaldo saluting the fans

Pepe telling Cristiano Ronaldo a secret

Cristiano Ronaldo smiling in Portugal vs Greece

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