Cristiano Ronaldo News

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Simão and Cristiano Ronaldo scored the goals in another qualifying game for Euro’2008


Portugal enjoyed themselves, Kazakhstan helped them

The Kazakh journalist Borat, invented and acted out by the English actor Sacha Baron Cohen, would, no doubt, have found a great explanation for the defeat that his “compatriots” suffered in the City of Coimbra Stadium. More than that, he could even consider that Kazakhstan didn’t look bad in the picture, and set out a well-researched and amusing story on the subject. It could be that someone would tell him that the three goals of Portugal’s victory were not just justified but were actually too few, in the light of what we saw. Particularly in the first half, but also in the second. Simão, twice, and Cristiano Ronaldo got the result. Portugal had 18 corners, Kazakhstan two, in the second half. Ricardo didn’t have to make a save, and that says it all.

The game, looked at later, had something for everyone. Back heels, feints, tricks and goals, of course, which were exactly what was required. The magical Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco and Simão enjoyed themselves and entertained. Others, namely the Kazakhs, despaired and the Kazakhstan players could only watch the Portuguese play. Cristiano Ronaldo and Simão tied Smakov in knots, but they weren’t the only ones.
The first goal was scored very early, before 10 minutes had passed, by Simão, in a shot sent in from the right, which was helped in with collaboration from goalkeeper Loriya. Portugal – who put out an innovative midfield with Raul Meireles (debuting), Tiago and Deco (who linked up well) – did not dispute a qualifying game for Euro’2008; they played an entertaining training match. They had the leading role and didn’t even allow the adversary to touch the ball.

In this phase, the back heels, the dummies and the tricks succeeded, along with smiles. Cristiano Ronaldo was one of those who most enthused the stands in the stadium, and also, it is understood, one of those who was the most entertaining. It wasn’t strange, then, that he incessantly looked for a goal. This happened after 30 minutes, in a typical move: a run down the left wing before sending over a strong cross shot, with the ball hitting the left goalpost first before going in.
The Portuguese prodigy wasn’t limited to shooting. He created, and he looked to help his colleagues, Nuno Gomes in particular. The striker’s pass at the right height started a duel between Nuno Gomes and Loriya, which the goalkeeper won, atoning for a mistake in the first goal of the match.

The second half started with a pre-announced substitution, because Ricardo Quaresma started to warm up for two minutes during the interval. But before Cristiano Ronaldo went off, to look after the injury that he incurred in the last Manchester game, there was still time for the Portuguese international to ask for the substitution to be held off, because he was getting ready to take a free kick. It went over, and on came Ricardo Quaresma, eight months after he last played for the first team of Portugal.

This was that game. Quaresma came onto the pitch well, and did what he does best, that is, passes, crosses and shots, and slightly restored the style of the first half of the game, after the Portuguese had eased off a little, motivated by the great openings that they were offered by Kazakhstan.
Deco, who is getting back to his best, was saved until the 60th minute, and before the end there was still time for Jorge Andrade to play nearly the final 15 minutes of the game, after Tonel had gone off injured. It was a very welcome public return for the Portuguese defender, who at the end of the match went to thank a cheering group of supporters, crossing the pitch to offer them his shirt. Eight months later, Calvary ended there.

And it was with Jorge Andrade on the pitch that the national team finished the scoring, with Simão, who with six minutes to go put the ball into the back of the net after a corner from Carlos Martins and a header by Ricardo Carvalho.
Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Tiago, Deco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Simão and, in the second half, Ricardo Quaresma and Jorge Andrade were the eight players represented by Gestifute who participated in Portugal’s victory, and they all played well.
Portugal are now in fourth place, with seven points from four games. Finland leads Group A, with 11 points, but after one more game. Serbia are second, after four matches and 10 points and Poland third, after five games and 10 points. Belgium have moved up to fifth, with seven points from five matches. Sixth are Kazakhstan, after five encounters and two points, seventh are Armenia after four games and with only one point, exactly the same as Azerbaijan.
In the next round, which will only take place on the 24th of March next year, Portugal host Belgium, Poland play Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan face Serbia.


“I don’t want to get into a debate. I feel fine and I played my game. If I didn’t feel well, I wouldn’t play. I told the coach that if I wasn’t well I wouldn’t play but today, before the match, I felt fine, so I played and luckily all went well. I’m prepared for the match next Saturday. I tried to give my best, which I do in every match, and this one went well for us and I think the whole team deserves congratulations.
I’m stuck in the middle [of the debate between Manchester and the national team]. The Manchester United coach always wants me to be able to help the club and so he didn’t want me to play, but on the other hand, coach Scolari is ambitious and always wants me to help the national team. I’m a bit in the middle, I understand them both, and I just want to help the team. I don’t want to get into debates.
[About the fact that Carlos Queirós has said that the injury was picked up with the national team] It’s true that I picked up the injury when I was with the national team, in Poland. Afterwards, I made a good recovery and came back to playing, though I still wasn’t one hundred per cent. In the game with Blackburn I was hit in the same area and the injury got worse, but today I felt fine, I played, and now I’m ready to play on Saturday against Sheffield.”


“The first goal is always the most important. It was a good match, we scored early on, we had a lot of opportunities, and in the second half we continued trying to score a goal, which we ended up getting.
[About the debuts of Raul Meireles and Tonel] Nobody is new here, everyone on the pitch has great qualities and they’ve already shown them for their clubs. They have come up through the national younger teams, and they are all good players.”

Stadium Cidade de Coimbra (Portugal).
Referee: René Rogalla (Switzerland). Assistants: Manuel Navarro e Jean-Paul Remy.
Yellow card: Simão (50’) and Travin (64’).
PORTUGAL – Ricardo; Miguel, Tonel (Jorge Andrade, 75’), Ricardo Carvalho e Paulo Ferreira; Raul Meireles, Tiago e Deco (Carlos Martins, 63’); Cristiano Ronaldo (Ricardo Quaresma, 56’), Simão e Nuno Gomes.
Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari.
KAZAKHSTAN – David Loriya; Azovskiy, Kuchma, Zhalmagambetov e Smakov; Travin e Khokhlov; Sergiyenko (Larin, 72’), Baltiyev e Zhumaskaliyev; Byakov.
Coach: Arno Pijpers.
Full-time: 3-0. Half-time: 2-0. Score: 1-0: Simão, 8’. 2-0: Cristiano Ronaldo, 30’. 3-0: Simão, 84’.



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