Friday 24 November 2017

Spain slip to heavy Portugal loss


World champions Spain were routed 4-0 by Portugal last night -- their second heavy friendly defeat in two months.

Carlos Martins opened the scoring in the 45th minute, firing in the rebound after Cristiano Ronaldo's shot had been saved by Iker Casillas.

Spain's sluggish defence was undone by Portugal's quick counterattacks in the second half, and Sergio Ramos poked Helder Postiga's shot into his own goal three minutes after the break.

Joao Moutinho found Postiga for the third in the 68th minute before Hugo Almeida capped the Iberian derby victory in injury-time.

Meanwhile, Italy striker Mario Balotelli was subjected to boos and racist taunts every time he touched the ball during a friendly with Romania.

The boos came from a group of about 100 extreme right-wing Italian fans at the match in Austria. The 20-year-old, born in Italy, is of Ghanian descent.

Fans also booed midfielder Cristian Ledesma, who was born in Argentina and was making his first appearance for the Azzurri.

Fabio Quagliarella scored an 82nd-minute equaliser for Italy after Ciprian Marica had given Romania a first-half lead.

Elsewhere, Ireland's next competitive opponents Macedonia drew 0-0 in Albania; Slovakia were beaten 3-2 at home by Bosnia.

Irish Independent

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