Squad news


13 Oct 2012
Nélson Oliveira and Pizzi remain without seeing any action with Portugal’s national team during the World Cup qualifiers. Their national team lost in Russia and now both Depor’s players hope to see some action on Tuesday before Northern Ireland.

Abel Aguilar was suspended with Colombia after been sent off in the past game; since the South American country was only playing one game in the FIFA date coach José Pékerman decided to not pick the midfielder; therefore the only players out of Depor’s training pitch during the break are Portuguese Pizzi and Nélson Oliveira.

Portugal was having a complicate exam visiting Russia in group F; as it happened in the previous two matchdays both players were on the bench. Things were difficult for Portugal since the kick-off; the Russians put a lot of pressure since the start; and just six minutes after the initial whistle the locals claimed the lead. Ruben Micael missed a pass at midfield and Russia released a deadly counterattack that ended with Shikorov assisting Alexander Kerzhakov, who scored from close range.

The visiting team had the ball possession throughout the first part, but it was unable to equalize despite the attempts of Nani and Cristiano RonaldoHélder Postiga, the central attacker in the formation, was too alone and it was normal to see him delaying his position to midfield in order to find some company.

The starting eleven of Portugal

For the second part the game turned to be more equal; Portugal was pushing forward for the equalizer, but Russia was also looking strong in attack, mainly as the Lusitanians were having problems to contain the counterattacks of the rival.

With the passing of the minutes Portugal claimed the control over the actions, but still was having problems to harm the rival. Coach Paolo Bento moved the bench and pulled Silvestre Varela and Eder, leaving Oliveira and Pizzi once again without the chance to debut in the World Cup qualifiers. The modifications were worthless and Bento’s team ended suffering its first defeat on the tournament.

The result put things difficult to Portugal; now Russia is the leader with nine points in three games, while the Portuguese team is three points behind and without room for more failures. On Tuesday, Portugal returns to Estádio do Dragão in order to face Northern Ireland (20h45 CET). Five days later both Pizzi and Oliveira will be facing FC Barcelona with Deportivo.

Russia: (4-3-3) Akinfeev - Anyukov, Ignashevich, V. Beresutskiy, Kombarov - Denisov, Shirokov, Kokorin – Bystrov (Samedov 83’), Kerzhakov (Eschenko 65’), Fayzulin (Glushakov 46’)
Portugal: (4-3-3) Rui Patrício - João Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Coentrão (Miguel Lopes 20’) - Moutinho, Veloso, Ruben Micael (Varela 67’) - Nani, Postiga (Eder 75’), Ronaldo
Goal: 1-0: (6’) Kerzhakov
Referee: Viktor Kassai. He showed yellow card to Veloso (43’), Shirokov (87’) and Kokorin (90+2’)
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow)



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