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Portugal ease past Turkey to top Group A

Latest update : 2008-06-08

Goals by Pepe and Meireles saw Portugal earn a comfortable win over Turkey in a thoroughly entertaining game in Geneva. Group A favourites Portugal now top the table, ahead of the Czech Republic, who earlier defeated hosts Switzerland.

GENEVA - Group A favourites Portugal made a winning start to Euro 2008 by beating Turkey 2-0 on Saturday.
 
A fine attacking movement begun by Cristiano Ronaldo on the left ended with defender Pepe charging forward, exchanging passes with striker Nuno Gomes and racing into the box to scuff the ball past Volkan Demirel for the opening goal on 61 minutes.
 
The Brazilian-born defender also headed the ball into the net in the first half, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.
 
The Portuguese wrapped up victory three minutes into injury time when substitute Raul Meireles knocked the ball into an empty net.
 
Portugal had the lion's share of chances in an exciting match at the Stade de Geneve but Turkey regularly posed a threat to Ricardo's goal.
 
Nuno Gomes hit the woodwork for the second time in the match when he headed on to the bar minutes after the first goal following a curling cross by Ronaldo.
 
Ronaldo had almost put Portugal in front in the 38th minute when his free kick from way out on the left skidded off the turf and hit the far post. The ball might have gone in if the diving Volkan had not got a slight touch.
 
Turkey created several half-chances from fast breaks in the early stages.
 
Tuncay Sanli went down in the Portuguese box as he chased a cross from the right but referee Herbert Fandel was quick to wave play on and admonish the forward.
 
Early in the second half Turkey had a penalty appeal turned down when Nihat Kahveci went down under a challenge.
 
In Portugal's next attack Simao Sabrosa was fouled by Gokhan Zan just outside the box, the ball running free for Nuno Gomes to hit the post with the net at his mercy.

Date created : 2008-06-07

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