Portugal beats Bosnia 1-0 in World Cup playoff

Portugal took control of its World Cup playoff against Bosnia-Herzegovina, winning the first leg 1-0 Saturday night as Bruno Alves scored off Nani’s cross in the 31st minute.

Bosnia nearly scored in the final minutes, when Edin Dzeko hit the crossbar and Zlatan Muslimovic struck a post.

Portugal is without FIFA player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been sidelined since Oct. 10 because of an injured ankle.

“We had some great chances to score and put ourselves in a more comfortable position,” Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz said. “But the important thing was that we played intelligently. We won without conceding any goals.”

The second leg of the home-and-home, total-goals series is Wednesday night at Zenica.

“We won’t be playing on the defensive there,” Portugal winger Simao Sabroso. “We’ll be trying to keep possession and make some goalscoring chances.”