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29 Apr 2016
England, Portugal pick up early wins in Sal
There were victories for leaders England and world champions Portugal in Cape Verde on Friday as the Sal Beach Soccer Cup got going in style.
Portugal came from two goals down to beat Spain 3-2 on Friday in the opening fixture of the Sal Beach Soccer Cup in cape Verde.
The world champions were without the likes of Madjer, Coimbra and Bruno Novo and, after a strong start, found themselves 2-0 down early in the third period thanks to a brace from Antonio.
However, Be Martins gave Portugal hope before captain Belchior levelled to take a thrilling contest into extra time.
It was that man Belchior who rode to Portugal’s rescue - tucking home the winner in dramatic circumstances as Spain were denied in cruel fashion.
Belchior was in the thick of things from the off - hitting the post three minutes in - before Dona produced a nimble save to deny the Portuguese skipper.
But Dona’s opposite number Andrade saved from Llorenç in Spain’s first effort on target while Santos had the final effort of the first period, edging over from close range.
Belchior threatened with an overhead kick shortly after the restart but Spain took a surprise lead when Martin’s long ball found Antonio who nodded in the first goal of the competition.
Having taken the lead, Spain stood firm amid Portuguese pressure as their opponents spurned set-piece opportunities while seeing Jose Maria power a strike into the ground and over as Spain held firm to lead going into the final period.
When play resumed, Be Martins was denied a one-on-one when he was felled in the final third but Dona was equal to the free-kick before the striker sent the rebound just wide.
After Llorenç rattled the crossbar the points seemed to be secure for Spain when Antonio arrowed in a free-kick from the right-hand side.
But Be Martins’ late strike offered hope and as Portugal pressed, Belchior weighed in with an equaliser from close range as the world champions demonstrated their relentlessness.
And it was the skipper, with time and space, who struck the decisive effort in the dying stages to give Portugal the lead for the first time with one-and-a-half minutes to go.
It proved enough for Portugal who, after a real scare, claimed their first points of the competition.
Goals: 0-1: Antonio, min. 3 (2); 0-2: Antonio, min. 9 (3); 1-2: Leonardo Santos, min. 7 (3); 2-2: Belchior, min. 0 (3); 3-2: Belchior, min. 0 (et)
Impressive hosts downed by ruthless England
Cape Verde failed to mark their international return with a win but produced a spirited display in Friday’s 7-2 defeat against England.
On their first outing in a number of years, Cape Verde had a tricky start on home sand as goals from Temple (2), Clarke (2) and Farquharson put England into a healthy lead by the middle of the second period.
However, Ramos reduced the arrears with a landmark goal while Jose scored a second late either side of further goals from Day and Clarke that cemented England's position as early leaders.
Backed by a passionate home crowd, Cape Verde started well and caused England problems as Jeffery was required to pull off a series of smart stops.
But against the run of play, the visitors led as Temple turned well, found a yard of space and tucked the opener home midway through the first period.
Clarke fired in a free-kick from distance to earn his side a comfortable cushion and two became three when Farquharson angled in an effort at the end of the first period.
Lawson almost gave Cape Verde a helping hand when his header looped against England’s crossbar but captain Clarke made it 4-0 soon after - sliding the ball under Manu.
Givaldar headed over for Cape Verde and, amid a scrappy second period, England stopper Jeffery produced several wayward attempts.
But Temple double his tally in emphatic fashion with a thunderous strike into the top corner before Ramos headed wide with the goal gaping at the end of the second period.
However, Cape Verde eventually had their long-awaited goal when Ramos reduced the arrears in acrobatic fashion.
The feelgood factor was dampened somewhat when Day scored straight from the restart while Cape Verde tried their luck from kick-off to no avail afterwards.
Clarke continued to pose problems however as he secured his hat-trick with a delightful overhead kick - prompting applause from the an impressed home crowd.
Those in Sal had another home goal to cheer when Jose scored his side’s second with a close-range header after Nilton struck the post.
It prompted a late flourish from the Cape Verdeans who will take positives in defeat as they prepare to face Spain on Saturday while England take on world champions Portugal.
Goals: 1-0 Temple, min. 7 (1); 2-0 Clarke, min. 3 (1); 3-0 Farquharson, min. 0 (1); 4-0 Clarke, min. 10 (2); 5-0 Temple, min. 3 (2); 5-1 Ramos, min. 0 (2); 6-1 Day, min. 11 (3); 7-1 Clarke, min. 6 (3); 7-2 Nilton, min. 2 (3)
SAL BEACH SOCCER CUP 2016
15.00 – Portugal 3-2 (aet) Spain
16.15 – England 7-2 Cape Verde
15.00 – Portugal vs England
16.15 – Cape Verde vs Spain