portugal 0 – 0 finland, Portugal for uero 2008November 22, 2007
PORTO, Portugal (AP) – Portugal held Finland to a 0-0 draw Wednesday, securing a place in next year’s European Championships.
The 2004 finalists threatened throughout but couldn’t beat goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who denied Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma on a number of chances.Portugal finished Group A with 27 points, while Finland – which needed a win to have any chance of reaching its first European finals – had 24.
Luiz Felipe Scolari returned to the bench after completing a two-month touchline ban imposed by UEFA for scuffling with defender Ivica Dragutinovic at the end of Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Serbia in September.
With midfield playmaker Deco of FC Barcelona and Werder Bremen’s Hugo Almeida among six players missing to injury, the weight of the attack fell on the shoulders of Ronaldo and Quaresma.
Scolari also handed Pepe his first start after the Real Madrid defender recovered from injury.
Ronaldo responded in the 11th, the Manchester United forward’s free kick stopped by Jaaskelainen.
Daniel Sjolund had Finland’s best chance of the first half on the counterattack in the very next minute, but Ricardo saved.
Quaresma wasn’t as sharp, however, shooting wide in the 26th then missing a chance up close in the 38th.
Quaresma hit the post in the 60th and missed again in the 81st before coming off for Nani three minutes later.
Both goalkeepers were sharp over the final period, Ricardo denying substitute Ariza Makukula in the 88th and Jaaskelainen stopping Nani two minutes into injury time as the hosts pressed.
Portugal: Ricardo, Jose Bosingwa, Pepe, Fernando Meira, Bruno Alves, Marco Caneira, Miguel Veloso, Maniche (Raul Meireles, 73), Ricardo Quaresma (Nani, 84), Nuno Gomes (Ariza Makukula, 77), Cristiano Ronaldo.
Finland: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Sami Hyypia, Toni Kallio, Petri Pasanen, Hannu Tihinen, Markus Heikkinen, Joonas Kolkka (Jonatan Johansson, 75), Jari Litmanen (Mika Vayraminen, 67), Daniel Sjolund, Teemu Tainio (Alexei Eremenko Jr., 69), Mikael Forssell.