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Rediff.com  » Sports » Portugal down England on penalties

Portugal down England on penalties

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Last updated on: July 02, 2006 00:02 IST

Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo saved three penalties to give his side a 3-1 penalty shoot-out win over England in the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday after a goalless 120 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty after Ricardo saved penalties from England midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and substitute Jamie Carragher.

Portugal now play the winners of the Brazil-France game in the semi-final.

After a closesly-contested first half, the drama sparked after 62 minutes when England striker Wayne Rooney, only back from a broken foot at these finals and seen as key to their World Cup hopes was red-carded.

Involved in a tussle for possession, Rooney stamped on the groin of defender Ricardo Carvalho virtually in front of Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo.

England were already without captain David Beckham, left sitting in tears with his head in his hands after being susbstituted in the 51st minute, seemingly after taking a knock from Nuno Valente.

Nothing went right for Sven-Goran Eriksson's men, who had had a penalty appeal ignored just two minutes earlier when a Beckham cross struck the arm of Valente.

Eriksson reacted to Rooney's dismissal by bringing on towering striker Peter Crouch for left winger Joe Cole, but England were badly lacking firepower up front.

Portugal Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was behind England's downfall at the 2002 World Cup for his native Brazil and did the same for Portugal at Euro 2004, tried to galvanize his men from the touchline.

It was a far cry from a balanced opening 45 minutes.

In a free-flowing start, England keeper Paul Robinson had to smother in a goalmouth melee, while Portugal's defence nearly was unlocked by a neat three-man move and Frank Lampard almost got on the end of a Steven Gerrard through-ball.

Beckham's replacement, Aaron Lennon, caused havoc with his first touches after the break -- teeing up Rooney, only for him to mis-kick, while Cole prodded the loose ball over the bar from point blank range.

Minutes later, things turned a lot worse for England as Rooney, who had limped out of that Euro 2004 quarter-final with Portugal with a broken bone in his foot, this time got his marching orders.

Portugal soon had England in the ropes, without creating a gilt-edged scoring chance, while John Terry and Crouch were both denied by last-ditch interceptions.

Though winger Cristiano Ronaldo was a constant threat, Scolari's men struggled to break down England's tiring side.

Trevor Huggins
Source:
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