Categories: General Date: Oct 24, 2007 Title: Portugal scores 2 late goals to defeat Kazakhstan 2-1 in Euro qualifier
The Associated Press
ALMATY, Kazakhstan: Portugal scored two late goals Wednesday to earn a 2-1 win over Kazakhstan and move closer to a spot at next year's European Championship.
Substitute Ariza Makukula, making his international debut, gave Portugal a 1-0 lead in the 84th minute on a header from close range after a cross from Ricardo Quaresma.
Cristiano Ronaldo added a second goal in the first minute of injury time, taking a pass from Nani and finishing with a high shot from inside the area.
Dmitry Byakov pulled one back for the hosts five minutes into injury time.
The win puts Portugal in second place in Group A with 23 points from 12 games.
Poland leads the group with 24 points, while Finland has 20. Kazakhstan has seven points. Portugal dominated the game from the outset, and Bruno Alves nearly put his team ahead in the fourth minute, but his header went wide after a free kick from Miguel Veloso.
Ronaldo, Maniche and Ricardo Carvalho also threatened for Portugal in the first half, but struggled to get their efforts on target.
Nani was brought on for Maniche early in the second half as the Portuguese attack slowed, and the visitors created several scoring chances before Makukula was able to break the deadlock.
Makukula was a late addition to the squad, flying in from Portugal to replace injured Benfica striker Nuno Gomes. Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari watched the game from the stands, as he is serving a UEFA ban for scuffling with a Serbia player after a qualifier in Lisbon on Sept. 12.
Portugal next plays Armenia on Nov. 17, and then hosts Finland in the final qualifier for both teams.
Kazakhstan: David Loriya, Murat Suyumagambetov, Aleksandr Kuchma, Samat Smakov, Farhatbek Irysmetov, Sergei Skorykh, Sergey Larin (Dmitri Lyapkin, 37), Nurbol Zhumaskaliyev, Andrei Karpovich (Kairat Nurdauletov, 89) Dimitriy Byakov, Sergei Ostapenko.
Portugal: Ricardo, Miguel Monteiro, Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Bruno Alves, Maniche (Nani, 59), Deco, Miguel Velosa, Ricardo Quaresma (Joao Moutinho), Hugo Almeida (Ariza Makukula), Cristiano Ronaldo.