Portugal runs over World Cup champions

BY foxsports • November 17, 2010

Portugal handed Spain its worst loss in 47 years on Wednesday, routing the World Cup champions 4-0.

It was Spain's worst defeat since losing 6-2 to Scotland in 1963, and its second big loss in an exhibition in two months. Spain's only wins in six matches since the World Cup have been in European Championship qualifying, against the weak trio of Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Scotland.

Spain has allowed 12 goals in the past four games, including a 4-1 loss to Argentina on Sept. 7.

"We couldn't have played any worse," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said.

Carlos Martins, Helder Postiga and Hugo Almeida all scored for Portugal, which got a measure of revenge for its loss to Spain in the second round of the World Cup. Martins opened the scoring in the 45th on a rebound after goalkeeper Iker Casillas had saved Cristiano Ronaldo's shot, and Sergio Ramos poked Postiga's goal-bound shot into his own net 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.

"There are no excuses," Del Bosque said. "We played a very open game and left too many chances for them the counter."

Portugal's intensity easily bettered the World Cup champion's in the game, which the Iberian countries used to promote their joint bid for the 2018 World Cup. 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 had to head Martins volley off the goal line with Casillas beaten.

Portugal seemed to be creating chance after chance against the run of play and 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.

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 goalkeeper.

"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."