LISBON - Portugal eased to a 2-0 victory over World Cup hosts South Africa in a one-sided friendly in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday. Portugal wasted a host of chances in a 0-0 home draw against Sweden in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday, a result which left them facing an uphill struggle to catch group leaders Denmark and Hungary. Coach Carlos Queiroz made six changes to his team and the Portuguese made a fast start when Bruno Alves scored with a header in the fourth minute. Portugal forced a succession of corners but wasted a number of chances, Edinho heading over on his debut and Maniche's first-time shot from a Deco pass just missing the post. South Africa, 72nd in the world rankings, created just one good opportunity shortly before halftime when forward Bernard Parker shot just wide from inside the area. Portugal doubled their lead on 56 minutes through an own goal by defender Lucas Twala who, under pressure from Edinho, deflected a Danny corner into his own net. Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo was among a number of second-half substitutes but the world player of the year failed to make an impact and the match petered out tamely.
31 March 2009
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