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Portugal crush Russia 7-1
Carlos Alberto Pontes | October 14, 2004 11:07 IST
Last Updated: October 14, 2004 15:27 IST
Portugal crushed Russia 7-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday as they bounced back from a humiliating draw with Liechtenstein at the weekend.
Winger Cristiano Ronaldo and substitute Armando Petit both scored twice as Russia crumbled in the face of a superb Portuguese performance in the Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon.
Portugal pressed Russia from the first minute and striker Pauleta opened the scoring after 26 minutes, tapping in after being set up by Ronaldo.
The unstoppable Ronaldo notched his first after 39 minutes following a goalmouth scramble.
Russia, who lost 2-0 to Portugal in Lisbon during Euro 2004 when they were eliminated in the first round, went 3-0 down on the stroke of halftime when Deco curled in from outside the area.
However, Portugal were not finished and Simao Sabrosa made it 5-1 from another Ronaldo pass before substitute Petit completed the rout with a late double.
Russian coach Georgy Yartsev, who left the bench minutes before the end of the game, complained that the players were not motivated or following directions and said he may resign.
The mood in the Portuguese camp was a complete contrast.
"Today we committed few errors. It was one of the better performances," Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said.
"We had some good plays during Euro 2004, but today everything was perfect. It was the best!"
Saturday's draw against Liechtenstein "stimulated the players for tonight's match", he said. "In 12 shots, we scored seven goals."
"Us, more than anyone, we want to be in the Mundial (World Cup). We do not want to stay at home and watch others play," Brazilian-born playmaker Deco said.
"This was a result a little unusual, but I think that we were superior in all of it."
Manchester United winger Ronaldo added: "The draw with Liechtenstein is past. I think that this game demonstrates we are a great team and shows our value."
"We won with a high score, which no one was expecting, not even the players, but we were very confident," he added.