Serbia holds Portugal to 1-1 draw

Updated: 16 September 2007 18:23 IST

Branislav Ivanovic scored the equalizing goal in the 86th minute on Wednesday to give Serbia a 1-1 draw at Portugal in a European Championship qualifying m

Serbia holds Portugal to 1-1 draw

Lisbon:

Branislav Ivanovic scored the equalizing goal in the 86th minute on Wednesday to give Serbia a 1-1 draw at Portugal in a European Championship qualifying match.

The Serbia defender tapped the ball over the line from close range after a free kick to cancel out Simao Sabrosa's 11th-minute goal.

Portugal's second draw at home in five days, following a 2-2 result against Poland on Saturday, left it in third place in Group A with 17 points, four behind leader Poland but with a game in hand.

After the final whistle, Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari scuffled with Serbia's Ivica Dragutinovic before the pair were pulled apart.

Portugal started out strongest but faded badly in the second half. Sabrosa, a winger, curled a free kick from outside the area past the goalkeeper's outstretched right hand in the 11th for his first international goal since February.

The free kick came after a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo, who looked sharper after his tame performance against Poland.

In the 20th, a cross from Jose Bosingwa from the right flank found striker Nuno Gomes, who sent his header against the post. Deco sent in the rebound but a reflex save from Vladimir Stojkovic kept out the ball.

Soon after, midfielder Nenad Kovacevic had Serbia's first shot on goal. After the break Deco, unmarked on the edge of the area, received the ball from Ronaldo but sidefooted a weak shot at the goalkeeper.

As Portugal lost its rhythm, Serbia coach Javier Clemente looked to put pressure on the Portuguese by bringing on forwards Nikola Zigic and Marko Pantelic.

Scolari replied by taking off Gomes and replacing him with winger Ricardo Quaresma.

The Serbs looked more dangerous, helped by Portugal's scrappy defending. The hosts fielded a makeshift backline due to injuries.

Pantelic almost poked a close-range shot into the net with 15 minutes left as Portugal waned.



Topics : Football Branislav Ivanovic
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