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Friday, June 25, 2004
The One With Portugal vs England 

I woke up at 2.30 am to watch first quarterfinals match between Portugal and England. Both team fielded almost their best 11 (except for suspended Pauleta was replaced by Nuno Gomes).

England started the game well after a mistake from Costinha, misjudged England's long ball, letting Owen to easily put the ball pass Ricardo. 1-0 at 3rd minute. Portugal straight switched to attacking mode in search for an equalizer. However Owen was the one who nearly to make it 2-0, but he send the ball wide. England then lost their inspiring young forward Rooney mid first half due to an ankle injury, replaced by ineffective Vassell.

Portugal made their first substitution in second half, brought in Simäo to replace Costinha. Then England's manager sensing their winning by making a denfensive sub, Scholes was replaced by his Man U team mate Phil Neville, Gerrard for Hargreaves. Scolari then made a shocking tactic by bringing in unsettled Spurs forward Helder Postiga to replace Captain Figo. He proved his strange decision worth when Simäo crossed to ball from left side and Postiga rose high heading the ball into the net leaving James stranded. 1-1. Just when the game near to end, England awarded a free kick, taken by Beckham. Campbell headed it straight to the bar, and followed with another header into the back of the net. However, ref Urs Meier ruled it off due to infringement. Game was brought into a Silver Goal extratime.

(I straight went to bed, too sleepy to stay.. but from the momment Portugese grabbed their equalizer, I've expected that England will bow out in penalty shoot out yet again.)

My prediction was right. In second half of the silver goal extra time, Rui Costa scored but Lampard equalized minutes later. Game was dragged into penalty shoot out. Beckham kicked it high (as usual), luckily Rui Costa missed it too. Up till the seventh kicker, Ricardo saved Vasell spotkick before took the penalty himself to bring Portugal into the Semis.. Final result :

Portugal 2 : (Postiga 83', Rui Costa 110') - (penalty - Deco, Simao, Ronaldo, Maniche, Postiga, Ricardo ; missed - Rui Costa)
England 2 : (Owen 3', Lampard 115') - (penalty - Owen, Lampard, Terry, Hargreaves, Cole ; missed - Beckham, Vassell)

Portugal won on penalty 6-5
(MoM : Carvalho)





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