A late Helder
Postiga goal saved Portugal from an embarrassing defeat on the night
Cristiano Ronaldo won his 100th cap as they were held to a 1-1 home draw
by Northern Ireland in World Cup Group F qualifying on Tuesday.
winger Niall McGinn gave the Irish a shock lead in Oporto when he made
the most of a fast counter-attack in the 30th minute.
Postiga then grabbed the equaliser with 11 minutes to go on a rain-soaked pitch at the Dragao Stadium.
are now third in the group, level on seven points from four games with
second-placed Israel but five adrift of group leaders Russia. The Irish
have two points from three matches and are third from bottom.
was a bad result, we were poor in the first half and wasteful in the
second. They punished us from a counter-attack and the goal brought
anxiety," Portugal coach Paulo Bento told local television.
still believe we will make the 2014 finals in Brazil. It depends solely
on us to get there via the play-offs if we can only get second place in
kick-off a grinning Ronaldo raised his thumb in approval as the
27-year-old became the third youngest European to reach a century of
international appearances behind German Lukas Podolski and Kristen
Viikmae of Estonia.
Madrid striker's smile was shortlived though as Portugal, beaten 1-0 in
Russia on Friday, lacked imagination and creativity against a combative
"They had a lot of players in the defensive area which made it really difficult for us," said Postiga.
home team gave a miserable first-half performance and went behind when
McGinn's quick run up field caught right-back Joao Pereira off guard.
Irish then had a double scare when centre-back Craig Cathcart miskicked
a clearance against his own woodwork and Aaron Hughes went close to
putting a header through his net.
Visiting keeper Roy Carroll also had to produce a fine reflex save to deny former Manchester United team-mate Ronaldo.
Bento brought on Eder in the 74th minute and Postiga pounced on a
header from the tall Braga striker to earn his side a point.
Barcelona's golden boy grabs the headlines again
It's Larsson Jr stealing the show these days
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010