Portugal v Turkey, 07 June 2008

Score2-0 to Portugal
RefereeHerbert Fandel
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group A
VenueStade de Genève, Geneva
Attendance29,106
Kick-off: 8:45pm local Assistant referees: Carsten Kadach (Germany) Volker Wezel (Germany) Fourth official: Viktor Kassai (Hungary) Man of the Match: Pepe (Portugal) Losers on the opening day four years ago, Portugal made a sure-footed start to UEFA EURO 2008 as second-half strikes from Pepe and substitute Raul Meireles secured all three points against Turkey in Geneva. It was a deserved victory for Luiz Felipe Scolari's men who also rattled the woodwork twice through Nuno Gomes. For Turkey, by contrast, defeat here continued their unhappy sequence of results against not just Portugal, who had previously bettered them at the 1996 and 2000 finals, but also teams coached by Scolari – his Brazil beat them twice at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It made Wednesday's Group A meeting with Switzerland a virtual eliminator. Portugal entered the tournament seeking to continue their upward trajectory in European finals: quarter-finals in 1996, semi-finals in 2000 and runners-up in 2004. They made the early running, with José Bosingwa hitting the outside of the post with a low cross inside two minutes. After 42 goals this season for Manchester United FC, Cristiano Ronaldo found himself crowded by white shirts in the initial stages but his threat was evident from the game's first corner, delivered by Simão. Ronaldo appeared poised to strike only for Servet Çetin to produce a timely block. Portugal did get the ball in the net from another Simão corner in the 17th minute but Pepe's header was ruled out for offside. At the other end, Nihat Kahveci saw a free-kick in a promising position trickle behind off the Portugal wall. Nihat was one of only two survivors from Turkey's 2002 World Cup team in the starting lineup alongside Emre Belözoğlu, and he and his fellow forwards – Kazım Kazım and Mevlüt Erdinç, both playing their first competitive internationals – had scant opportunities in a first period controlled by Portugal. With the half-hour approaching, Simão curled a free-kick narrowly over and moments later there was a collective drawing of breath as Ronaldo cut inside to escape the shackles of Hakan Balta and proceeded to weave his way between three white shirts. If the finish was lacking, Ronaldo then drew a fine save from Volkan Demirel with a low free-kick driven in from the left. Although the ball bounced in front of Volkan, he managed to get a fingertip to it and touch it on to the far post. With João Moutinho also going close, Turkey coach Fatih Terim sought to tighten up his midfield for the second half, sending on Sabri Şarıoğlu. Yet Turkey were soon on the back foot once more. Simão dispossessed the dawdling Gökhan Zan and Nuno Gomes nipped in to fire the loose ball against the inside of the upright. After Gökhan, injured in that incident, limped off to be replaced by Emre Aşık, Portugal came again, Ronaldo shooting low at Volkan. The breakthrough finally came after 61 minutes. Pepe, carrying the ball forward with an assuredness not usually associated with centre-halves, played a one-two on the edge of the box with Nuno Gomes and burst through to finish past Volkan for his first international goal. Nuno Gomes's header rebound off the crossbar soon after and Turkey's hopes of snatching a late equaliser vanished with Tuncay's air shot. Meireles, also with a maiden Portugal goal, doubled the lead in added time, sliding the ball into an empty net after Moutinho's trickery had taken out Volkan.

2  Portugal

Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari

0  Turkey

Manager: Fatih Terim

Goals:

Pepe 61 G
Raul Meireles 90 G

Goals:

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Ricardo
Defender Ricardo Carvalho
Defender Paulo Ferreira
Defender Pepe
Defender/Midfielder Jose Bosingwa
Midfielder Deco
Midfielder João Moutinho
Midfielder Petit
Midfielder Simão
Midfielder/Forward Cristiano Ronaldo
Forward Nuno Gomes (captain)

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel
Defender Gokhan Zan
Defender Servet Cetin
Midfielder Emre Belözoğlu (captain)
Midfielder Hakan Balta
Midfielder Hamit Altintop
Midfielder Mehmet Aurelio

Substitutions:

Nani for Nuno Gomes 68
Raul Meireles for Simão 82
Fernando Meira for Deco 90

Substitutions:

Sabri Sarioglu for Mevlut Erdinc 46
Emre Aşık for Gokhan Zan 55
Semih Senturk for Hamit Altintop 76

Cards:

Cards:

Colin Kazim-Richards 4 Y
Gokhan Zan 52 Y
Sabri Sarioglu 73 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Rui Patrício
Defender Bruno Alves
Defender Fernando Meira
Defender Jorge Ribeiro
Defender/Midfielder Miguel
Defender/Midfielder Miguel Veloso
Midfielder Nani
Midfielder Raul Meireles
Midfielder/Forward Ricardo Quaresma
Forward Hugo Almeida

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber
Goalkeeper Tolga Zengin
Defender Emre Aşık
Defender Emre Gungor
Midfielder Arda Turan
Midfielder Ayhan Akman
Midfielder Mehmet Topal
Midfielder Sabri Sarioglu
Midfielder Semih Senturk
Midfielder Tümer Metin
Midfielder Ugur Boral

Comments:

- Portugal extended their unbeaten streak in competitive matches to 12, their joint second best ever sequence. They have now won a record equalling six successive group phase matches at European Championships and World Cups. - Pepe's goal was his first at club or international level since April 2007, when he scored for Porto against Benfica. - Nuno Gomes equalled the Portuguese record by appearing at his third European Championship, a total also achieved by Fernando Couto, Luis Figo and Rui Costa.

Comments:

- Mevlut Erding (21 years 103 days) became the youngest player to take the field for Turkey at the European Championship. His teammate Colin Kazim-Richards is the second youngest at 21 years 286 days. - Emre Asik (34 years 177 days) became the oldest player to participate for Turkey at the European Championship, breaking the 12 year old record set by Oguz Cetin (33 years 120 days at Euro 96, also against Portugal).