Portugal 1-1 Netherlands. Ronaldo’s late equaliser rescued Portugal at home.

Cristiano Ronaldo has struck late to see Portugal avoid defeat in their friendly encounter with the Netherlands at the Estadio Algarve.
Kevin Strootman had given the Netherlands the lead with a brilliant finish in the 17th minute, but it was the home side who had the majority of efforts on goal.
Just as Swansea City goalkeeper Michael Vorm looked like keeping a clean sheet on his 12th appearance for Orange until the Real Madrid star swooped with three minutes remaining.
Portugal lacked inspiration in the first half as coach Paulo Bento was forced to line up a makeshift midfield due to injuries to several players including Joao Moutinho, Nani and Silvestre Varela.
But the hosts reacted to the goal and pressed on in the second half, getting their reward five minutes before the final whistle when Captain Ronaldo pounced on a corner and levelled with an easy finish.
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‘After so many changes to the initial squad call-up due to injuries I am satisfied with our football and the competitive rhythm displayed,’ Bento told Portuguese television RTP.

The packed 30,000-strong Algarve stadium, located in the popular tourist region of southern Portugal, had many holiday travellers in the stands but those rooting for the home side were made to wait.

Although Portugal reacted after going behind, and Ronaldo had a lobbed goal disallowed for offside, they lacked efficiency up front for most of the match.

‘It’s true we struggled a bit in the first half but, although the Netherlands dominated, there weren’t that many chances. As for our second half, it was class. The goal was a reward for the effort put in,’ Bento said.

The Portuguese still top World Cup qualifying Group F after Northern Ireland shocked second-placed Russia 1-0 on Wednesday. Portugal have 14 points and the Russians remain two behind but now have only one game in hand. 

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