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Pepe header gives Portugal win over Hungary

Goal.com
Sep 10, 2009 at 10:38pm IST

New Delhi: Portugal have picked themselves up from Saturday's 1-1 draw with Denmark with a 1-0 success at Hungary, a result which puts them back in the race for a spot in South Africa.

The visitors were the first side to create danger, when on two minutes Bodnar lost the ball to Liedson near the entrance of the area. The Brazilian-born striker advanced on the keeper but Gyepes moved in quickly to clear the ball.

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Portugal broke the deadlock just nine minutes into the game, when Deco dinked a free-kick into the six-yard box and Pepe rose higher than his defender to head the ball home.

ONE UP: Portugal's players Pepe (L) and Raul Meineles celebrate their team's goal against Hungary.

Hungary then began to respond, mostly through Dzsudszak, who bothered the Portuguese keeper on a number of occasions, especially from distant free-kick situations.

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The Seleccao could have doubled their lead in the 29th minute as Cristiano Ronaldo was given far too much room as he entered the area before attempting a right-foot shot into the bottom right hand corner, but Babos denied the effort.

The second half began with a huge setback for Portugal: Deco was forced to leave after picking up a knock and was promptly replaced by Simao Sabrosa.

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Some hurtful minutes followed as Hungary were just watching Portugal play and applying little or no pressure on their opponents, until Erwin Koeman made two substitutions on 66 minutes that had an immediate impact.

In the 73rd minute, after a cross from Dzsudszak that was tipped away by Eduardo, Hajnal tried to score from outside the area but the ball went just over the bar.

Three minutes later, Portugal responded as Tiago fed the ball to Ronaldo, who was alone near the entrance of the area but he pushed his shot straight at the keeper.

Nani was brought on shortly after for Liedson and the Manchester United winger could have scored on 83 minutes but he could not connect cleanly with a Raul Meireles cross and he sent his shot wide.

It was a well-deserved victory for Portugal in a match that certainly did little to entertain the spectators. Hungary were punished for their slow play and for looking content just to let their opponents play for large portions of the game.

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