Portugal runs over World Cup champion Spain 4-0

World Cup champion Spain slumped to its worst defeat in 47 years

Wednesday when it was routed 4-0 by neighbor Portugal, its second

big loss in a friendly in two months.

While the Iberian pair used the match to promote their joint

World Cup 2018 bid, Portugal got a measure of revenge for its loss

to Spain in the second round in South Africa. It was Spain’s worst

loss since 1963 – a 6-2 defeat to Scotland.

”We couldn’t have played any worse,” Spain coach Vicente del

Bosque said.

Carlos Martins opened the scoring in the 45th minute by firing

the rebound from Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot that had been saved by

goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Spain’s sluggish defense was undone by Portugal’s quick

counterattacks in the second half as Sergio Ramos poked Helder

Postiga’s shot into his own goal three minutes after the break.

Joao Moutinho found Postiga for the third in the 68th before

Hugo Almeida capped the Iberian derby victory in the third minute

of injury time.

Spain looked listless for the second straight friendly after

losing 4-1 to Argentina on Sept. 7 while Portugal coach Paulo Bento

continued his good run since taking over for Carlos Queiroz with a

third straight win.

”There are no excuses,” Del Bosque said. ”We played a very

open game and left too many chances for them on the counter.”

Nani directed most of Portugal’s chances early on. Casillas

tipped the Manchester United player’s drive wide in the second

minute before reading Nani’s through ball to Postiga nicely in the

21st, coming out to block the chance at the right side.

Andres Iniesta shot wide in the 11th before Spain began to take

control through its one-touch passing as David Silva headed a clear

cross from Joan Capdevila wide in the 31st.

David Villa had several weak efforts before Portugal began to

dominate. Ronaldo moved around Sergio Busquets but watched Nani

head his goal-bound lob into the net, causing the 36th-minute goal

to be waived away for offside.

Two minutes later, Gerard Pique was well-placed to head Martins

volley off the goal line with Casillas beaten.

Portugal’s intensity easily bettered the World Cup champion’s as

Joao Moutinho slipped free down the right side before feeding into

the middle for Postiga, whose shot was put into the net by

Ramos.

Ronaldo did not return after halftime after hurting his leg from

Busquet’s first-half tackle. But Portugal’s attack was unaffected

as it created chance after chance against the run of play. Nani was

guilty of poor finishing – especially with two open teammates

available to pass to – in the 52nd as Casillas pulled his lob

down.

Bruno Alves deflected Ramos’ free kick wide and substitute

Fernando Llorente headed a good pass wide just before Postiga made

it 3-0 with his third goal in 37 appearances. Postiga turned to

beat Casillas with a shot after Moutinho was allowed to run at the

Spain area unmarked.

Cesc Fabregas volleyed a good chance wide late but Spain looked

lethargic and eventually surrendered a fourth when Almeida was

played free against Casillas to slot past the Madrid ‘keeper.

”You can’t take anything positive from a game like this,”

Fabregas said. ”They played a lot better than us and that’s it. We

just have to apologize and move forward.”

Lineups:

Portugal: Eduardo (Rui Patricio, 46), Joao Pereira, Ricardo

Carvalho (Pepe, 46), Bruno Alves, Jose Bosingwa, Joao Moutinho,

Raul Meireles, Carlos Martins (Manuel Fernandes, 62), Nani (Paulo

Machado, 87), Ronaldo (Danny, 46), Helder Postiga (Hugo Almeida,

73).

Spain: Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique (Carlos

Marchena, 46), Carles Puyol (Alvaro Arbeloa, 73), Joan Capdevila,

Sergio Busquets, David Silva, Xavi Hernandez (Cesc Fabregas, 46),

Xabi Alonso (Fernando Llorente, 57), Andres Iniesta (Santi Cazorla,

57), David Villa (Fernando Torres, 46).