Portugal runs over World Cup champion Spain 4-0

BY foxsports • November 17, 2010

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.''

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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).


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