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07.09.2015 » Albania 0-1 Portugal. Miguel Veloso scores the crucial late winner

Miguel Veloso scores late winner for Portugal

Portugal are now one step closer to the EURO 2016 finals, after visiting and beating Albania 0-1, thanks to a late header from Miguel Veloso. The Portuguese National Team lead Group I with 15 points, 3 more than Denmark and 4 more than Albania.

After having started their EURO 2016 qualifying campaign with a shocking 0-1 defeat at the hands of Albania, Portugal seem to have regained their focus ever since and are now on a 5-game winning streak (official games only). Their last victim was precisely the very same Albania that had beaten them roughly a year ago and who were still undefeated in these qualifiers. Portugal were determined to change that tonight, but they were only succesful in doing so in stoppage time, when a header from Miguel Veloso saw the ball hitting the back of the net. Cristiano Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes but for one reason or another, he extended his goal scoring drought and he's yet to score this season...

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Albania vs Portugal
Albania 0-1 Portugal - Goals and highlights:

All Cristiano Ronaldo actions vs Albania:

It was another tough win for the Portuguese National Team, who despite having won their last 5 fixtures in the EURO 2016 qualifying Group I, are yet to beat any of their opponents with a goal margin higher than 1. Nevertheless, each of those wins still earned them the desired 3 points and the truth is that Portugal are now one of the few teams in Europe already in the pole position to make it to the EURO 2016 finals, next summer in France.

Ahead of this important European qualifier and having in mind what he had seen last Friday on that friendly against France, Fernando Santos decided to do only a few changes in his team. He didn't make any switch in his goal nor in his defensive line, but he brought on 3 changes into his team's midfield and attacking sectors. Veloso, Danny and the 21-year old Bernardo Silva were all starters, while Cristiano Ronaldo was played on a somehow uncharacteristic centre forward role. It's hard to tell if these changes really benefited the team, but by playing Ronaldo in such an isolated and central role, it seems obvious that he becomes less threatening and more predictable in most of his actions...

Cristiano Ronaldo loses his boot and unties its laces afterwards

Portugal dominated the first half in Elbasan this Friday night, creating a couple good chances to break the deadlock before half-time, while at the same time they also managed to control Albania's attacking intents without much hassle. Their best scoring chance happened in the 13th minute, when a corner kick taken by Danny was deflected in the near post just before meeting Nani on the far post. The former Manchester United winger only had time to react by instinct and hit the woodwork, which allowed Albania to keep dreaming about a positive result this Monday night.

The game would open up in the second half, with both the hosts and the visitors uninterested in settling for a draw. Albania were very close to score in the 75th minute when a good strike from Cikalleshi slammed against Rui Patrício's post. Portugal responded just 5 minutes later, when Ronaldo assisted Eliseu for a 1-on-1 chance against Albania's goalkeeper, but the left-back failed to hit the target in a miscalculated lob.

As time ran off the clock, the goalless draw appeared to be the most likely result. It wouldn't be a bad result for any of these two teams either, since Denmark had already tied against Armenia 0-0 earlier on. However, Portugal still had one word left to say in this game and they would finally break the deadlock 2 minutes inside stoppage time. Ricardo Quaresma took the corner kick on the right, curled the ball into the heart of the box and saw Miguel Veloso heading it cleanly and into the back of the net to put Portugal on the driving seat. It was a very complicated win for Fernando Santos' men, but these 3 points already allow the "Selecção" to start dreaming with France and the EURO 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo backheel touch in Albania 0-1 Portugal, for the EURO 2016 qualifiers

Portugal line-up vs Albania:

Goalkeeper: Rui Patrício
Defenders: Eliseu, Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe, Vieirinha
Midfielders: Danilo, Miguel Veloso, Bernardo Silva
Attackers: Nani, Danny, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Match stats provided by
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo next game will be for Real Madrid, on September 12 of 2015, against Espanyol. You can watch Juventus live stream, Espanyol vs Real Madrid, Macedonia vs Spain, England vs Switerzland, USA vs Brazil, and Russia vs Sweden, all matches provided from our soccer live game pages.

Real Madrid next game:
Espanyol vs Real Madrid
kick-off time (12-09-2015):

Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 22:00
| UTC/GMT+7: 21:00
India (New Delhi) |
UTC/GMT+5.30: 19:30
(Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 16:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 15:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 11:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 10:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 07:00

Sources: / / / /

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