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Portugal leave it late

07 Jun 2014 06:16:52

Portugal leave it late

Bruno Alves headed a classy late winner as Portugal beat Mexico 1-0 in Foxborough to step up preparations for the World Cup.

In the third minute of second-half stoppage time, the defender darted into space to meet a free-kick delivered from a deep position on the right by Joao Moutinho and directed the ball inches inside the right post.

Portugal, who were without injured captain Cristiano Ronaldo, wrap up their tournament warm-up schedule with a game against the Republic of Ireland in Boston on Tuesday.

The Irish, who have missed out on World Cup qualification, achieved a 1-1 draw with Brazil-bound Costa Rica in Philadelphia.

Costa Rica's Giancarlo Gonzalez was sent off after an ugly altercation with Ireland striker Kevin Doyle, who was left with blood pouring down his face, four minutes before the break at PPL Park.

It proved to be an eventful evening as Kevin Doyle handed Ireland an early lead with his 13th international goal before Gonzalez lost his head, only for Celso Borges to level from the penalty spot after the break.

Republic captain Robbie Keane could have restored his side's lead almost immediately, but saw his spot-kick saved by substitute goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton.

Zambia gave Japan a fright in Tampa before sliding to a 4-3 defeat.

Japan fell 2-0 behind during the first half, conceding a close-range header from Christopher Katongo and a sweetly-struck 20-yard strike from Nathan Sinkala.

Keisuke Honda's penalty cut the deficit and Shinji Kagawa had a stroke of luck for an equaliser when his apparent cross bypassed everyone on its way into the net.

Honda prodded Japan in front, only for Zambia's Lubambo Musanda to strike a 25-yard effort that deflected over Shusaku Nishikawa to haul Zambia back to 3-3.

Yoshito Okubo pinched a last-gasp winner, showing sharp control to bring down a long pass and composing himself before producing a powerful left-footed finish.

Croatia and Australia are both heading to the finals, and it took a Nikica Jelavic strike to separate them in Salvador. Croatia's 1-0 victory came courtesy of Jelavic's strike off the underside of the crossbar in the 58th minute.

Greece beat non-qualifiers Bolivia 2-1 in New Jersey with goals from Panagiotis Kone and Kostas Katsouranis. Rudy Cardozo replied from long range for Bolivia.

Fredy Guarin's late 30-yard strike capped a 3-0 win for Colombia over Jordan in Buenos Aires. Colombia had led through a pair of penalties, converted by James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado.


PA

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