Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 3/26/13
Portugal failed to shine but claimed its first win in six games by beating 10-man Azerbaijan 2-0 in a World Cup qualifying game Tuesday thanks to goals in the last half-hour by Bruno Alves and Hugo Almeida. Alves broke the deadlock with a 63rd-minute header at the front post, and substitute Almeida sealed victory in the 79th. Without suspended Cristiano Ronaldo and injured Nani, the Portuguese struggled to make their dominance tell on the score-sheet. The breakthrough came only after Aliyev Rauf was shown a second yellow card, for elbowing Pepe, and was sent off 10 minutes after the interval. Portugal has 11 points from six games after a slump in form and is one point behind Group F leader Russia, which has two games in hand. ''Obviously we're under a lot of pressure,'' Portugal coach Paulo Bento said. ''We're still having trouble taking our chances.'' Portugal's winless streak included draws with Israel and Northern Ireland and a defeat in Russia. It also failed to triumph in ...
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