Ronaldo misses penalty as Portugal crash against Turkey
Lisbon: Portugal`s Euro 2012 preparations stuttered as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Turkey in an international friendly at a packed Estadio da Luz on Saturday.
Paulo Bento`s side battered their visitors from the off, but found themselves a goal down at the break after Umut Bulut`s opportunistic strike. The hosts` vulnerability at the back saw them go 2-0 down through another Bulut effort, before they dragged themselves back into the contest with a crisp Nani strike. Cristiano Ronaldo then missed a penalty for his team, who saw their misery complete when Pepe turned home a late own goal.
A lively opening to the match saw the Seleccao start with purpose, with captain Ronaldo unsurprisingly heavily involved.
The Real Madrid ace forced the first save of the game from Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, who got down smartly to turn aside Ronaldo`s dipping free-kick from 25 yards out.
Minutes later, Hugo Almeida - preferred to Helder Postiga and Nelson Oliveira up front - wasted a fabulous break from Fabio Coentrao, the Besiktas forward getting caught in two minds whether to head or shoot.
In response, Burak Yilmaz shot tamely at Portuguese shot-topper Rui Patricio, as Turkey flickered into life in attack.
Abdullah Avci`s side had to continue to weather the early Portuguese storm as Almeida headed against the crossbar on 30 minutes after Joao Moutinho`s free kick was flicked on by Pepe.
A minute later, however, and Turkey had also rattled the woodwork. This time it was a fantastic 30-yard free kick from Hamit Altintop that scraped the goal frame - the Real Madrid man `s effort serving warning of a Turkish goal that simply hadn`t looked on the cards early on.
That goal duly arrived when striker Umut Bulut nipped in ahead of Coentrao to turn home from six yards after fabulous work down the left by Sercan Sararer.
The hosts charged back in search of an equaliser and saw a golden chance fall to Ronaldo, whose slotted effort was deflected agonisingly wide by Demirel`s legs.
Unlucky to be 1-0 down at the break, Portugal maintained their tempo at the start of the second-half.
However, Bento`s side saw their night go from bad to worse on 52 minutes when some dreadful defending from Bruno Alves was clinically punished by the impressive Bulut, who blasted home from the edge of the box.
With the Euro 2012 hopefuls falling apart at the back, Yilmaz should have made it 3-0 - the Turkish midfielder walking through unmarked only to miss the target completely.
Portugal took advantage of the let-off when they pulled a goal back after Nani collected Ronaldo`s pass and drilled home his finish on 57 minutes.
Seleccao full-back Miguel Lopes was then felled by Emre Belozoglu inside the box to give Ronaldo the chance to equalise from the spot. However, the captain fluffed his lines as Demirel pushed his tame penalty to safety.
The hosts` pressure was incessant, but was failing to pay off and a third Turkish goal came courtesy of a calamitous own goal that saw Pepe inadvertently turn home a cross from the right.
Paulo Bento`s side will now enter the Euro 2012 finals with the opening game against Germany on June 9 having failed to win any of their three friendly matches in 2012 following goalless draws with Poland and Macedonia.
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