Portugal beat Angola 1-0

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/A/Ap_angola.jpg' class='caption'> Portugal beat World Cup newcomer Angola 1-0 in their opening Group D match.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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The first timers at the World Cup continue to be impressive, and Angola did well to keep the scoreline down to 1-0 against Portugal. But a win is a win, and Portugal, the Euro 2004 finalists, looks impressive especially after they got off to a blistering start. Angola were prepared for a baptism by fire, but wouldn't have expected such an early test. Pedro Pauleta had almost scored the fastest goal in World Cup history after just 12 seconds. But the Paris St Germain striker didn't miss the target four minutes later. Figo leads Skipper Luis Figo quite literally led from the front with a fantastic run for Pauleta to fire home his 47th international goal from close range. Cristiano Ronaldo was the other Portuguese player putting in an inspired performance. Despite overdoing his tricks throughout the match, the Manchester United star looked threatening. At the other end, Angola, who looked impressive in their debut game created a few chances of their own. Andre forced a good save by rival keeper Ricardo off a low drive from distance. Portugal, though, continued to dominate. This time Pauleta had time to pick his spot but Joao Ricardo dived low to his left to save. Good save The second half failed to live up to the tempo and quality of the first. Pauleta was denied his second of the night by the impressive Ricardo. The Angola custodian was called into action once again to stop a sweeping move by Portugal rounded off by a shot from Tiago. Ricardo was up to the task once again. Delgado checked on to his right foot on the left flank and while his cross was half cleared it was belted back in the box. Ricardo saved a flick on off the outside of his right boot from Mateus. Angola did push forward in a desperate attempt to equalise, but the Africans' inexperience cost them dearly. Portugal emerged with three points to level with Mexico on top of Group D.

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