Portugal without Ronaldo held to 2-2 draw by Gabon
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP)
Portugal was held to a 2-2 draw by Gabon without injured captain Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday in an international friendly in which three penalties were awarded.
Portugal came from behind to lead 2-1 through Hugo Almeida's goal in the 59th minute. But Andre Biyogo Poko buried a 70th-minute penalty to earn a committed Gabon a draw against the world's No. 4-ranked team in the first meeting between the countries.
Levy Madinda gave Gabon the lead from the spot in the 32nd after a questionable decision from Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who produced a shaky performance all night in Libreville. Portugal equalized with its own penalty from Pizzi three minutes later.
Lamptey also awarded Gabon a goal late in the first half when the ball clearly had not crossed the line and had to be corrected by his assistant referee amid furious protests from the Portuguese.
Missing Manchester United's Nani as well as Real Madrid star Ronaldo, Portugal fell behind after Silvio was penalized for a foul in the area by Lamptey. It appeared a poor decision.
Madinda scored, only for Portugal to hit back immediately after Eder was dragged down for the game's second penalty.
Almeida controlled and poked the ball into an empty net after Gabon's defense and goalkeeper were caught out midway through the second half.
But Poko took advantage with a third penalty kick after a handball by Custodio to give Gabon a draw.