Portugal held by Cape Verde


COVILHA, May 25 – Portugal suffered a blow to their morale ahead of next month's World Cup finals in South Africa on Monday as they were held to a 0-0 draw by minnows Cape Verde, ranked 117th in the world, in a friendly.The 2006 World Cup semi-finalists star player Cristiano Ronaldo was a peripheral figure for the first hour of the match leaving the creative play to Nani and Fabio Coentrao.

However, their creativity was wasted as Liedson missed with two headers in the 17th and 26th minutes and Nani also was guilty of missing a golden opportunity when set up by a delightful backheel by Deco.

Ronaldo – whose first season at Real Madrid ended in disappointment with no trophies after his move from Manchester United – came more into the match after the hour mark and saw a fierce shot saved in the 61st minute while he also sent efforts wide in the 81st and 92nd minutes.

The Portuguese play two more friendlies – against Cameroon here on Tuesday week and then Mozambique in South Africa on June 8 – before they start their World Cup Group G campaign against Ivory Coast on June 15 before playing North Korea and favourites Brazil.