bad strike for Portugal
What was the worst thing for Portugal happened … a late goal for the visitors and the bookmakers smiled .
A few lines from the UEFA site :
“A last-gasp equaliser from Branislav Ivanović denied Portugal second place in Group A and kept alive Serbia’s hopes of reaching UEFA EURO 2008™.
Portugal could have closed to within two points of leaders Poland with a victory and they appeared on course when Simão fired them in front after eleven minutes but Ivanović stunned the home crowd with an 88th-minute leveller to leave Serbia just a point behind their opponents. The home side made the perfect start as Simão’s precise free-kick, awarded after Nenad Kovačević had fouled Cristiano Ronaldo, found the target.
The Portuguese had Petit to thank for preserving their lead after he produced a fantastic block minutes later to deny Zdravko Kuzmanović’s goalbound effort. Then Nuno Gomes headed Bosingwa’s inviting cross against a Serbia post and Maniche blasted the rebound straight at goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković. Ronaldo went close with two further efforts as Portugal searched for a telling second goal.
Serbia became more composed as the second half progressed and Kovačević wasted a glorious chance to restore parity by firing a half-volley over the crossbar following Ricardo’s poor punch. The real drama came late on, however, as with two minutes to play, Dejan Stanković’s free-kick caused panic in the Portugal penalty area and Ivanović was able to turn the ball in from close range.
There was still time for Ivica Dragutinović to receive a red card in added time but Serbia had done enough to earn the draw. Group A could not be much tighter ahead of October and November’s qualifiers, with Poland and Finland on 21 and 19 points respectively, Portugal two points further back in third, and Serbia a point behind them in fourth – with the latter two countries each having a game in hand. “
So , Portugal – Serbia ended 1 – 1 *pick lost , stay close more free tips still to come !