World Cup qualifiers - Portugal 2 - 1 Luxembourg | France 3 - 0 Finland
PORTUGAL captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored and celebrated as his side recovered from an early scare in Luxembourg to start their World Cup Group F qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win.
A fifth of Luxembourg’s population is Portuguese and many turned up in the 8,000-strong crowd at the compact Josy Barthel Stadium, but they were stunned when a Portuguese-born Luxembourgian Daniel da Mota punished a clumsy start by the favourites to put the hosts ahead with a fierce drive after 13 minutes.
Ronaldo, who hit the headlines after failing to celebrate two league goals last weekend for Real Madrid and telling reporters he was “sad”, levelled 15 minutes later.
The Portuguese captain slotted in an easy goal and greeted team-mates with a clenched fist, celebrating the equaliser not too exuberantly but apparently happy.
The visitors kept pressing on and were too strong for Luxembourg who succumbed to a coolly-taken drive by Helder Postiga in the 54th minute.
A first-half goal by Abou Diaby gave France a winning start in their Group I qualifying campaign as they snatched a 1-0 victory in Finland while Germany began with a predictable 3-0 win over a defensive disciplined but extremely limited Faroe Islands.
Mario Goetze got the opener with Mesut Ozil scoring twice in the second half.
Robin van Persie grabbed his 30th international goal and Luciano Narsingh scored his second to give the Netherlands a 2-0 win over Turkey.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
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