Sun, 27 May 2012 17:10:45 GMT

Portugal draw 0-0 with Macedonia in Euro warmup

Leiria: Portugal lacked fire and flair as they were held to 0-0 at home by Macedonia on Saturday in a warmup match for the European Championship.

Portugal draw 0-0 with Macedonia in Euro warmup

Portugal's rare goal threats came mostly from Cristiano Ronaldo's long-range efforts, but the captain had little support and couldn't break down Macedonia's packed defense on his own. Nani's late entrance upped the pace but Portugal still lacked a spark.

Portugal also drew their previous friendly against Poland in February.

Careless defense early in the second half almost cost the Portuguese as home fans jeered their team's dull performance. Goran Pandev escaped his marker inside the Portuguese area soon after the restart but lost the ball. In the 57th Vance Sikov headed over the bar unchallenged.

Portugal will play against Germany, the Netherlands and Demark in Group B at the Euro 2012 next month.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento handed rare starts to Rolando at center-back and Ruben Micael in midfield, with Ricardo Quaresma taking Nani's usual place on the flank.

None of them impressed as Portugal failed to break the monotonous game.

Ronaldo's first attempt came in the 10th, with a trademark thundering free kick that skimmed the crossbar. His low drive from just outside the area in the 25th skidded wide of Martin Bogatinov's right post, and five minutes before halftime the Real Madrid forward struck a dipping free kick that Bogatinov scrambled to cover.

Source: AP

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