Portugal name squad for Kazakhstan qualifier
LISBON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari on Thursday included fit-again defender Jorge Andrade and four uncapped players in his 20-man squad for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Kazakhstan in Coimbra next Wednesday.
The 28 year-old Deportivo Coruna defender was out for eight months after severing a tendon in his left knee in early March against Barcelona. He returned to action on Wednesday and helped his club qualify for the fifth round of Spain's King's Cup.
Scolari has dropped experienced defender Nuno Valente and midfielders Costinha and Maniche to give a chance for young goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes, defenders Tonel and Nelson and midfielder Raul Meireles to shine.
'This is a bet and an opportunity. With the Under-21 side already qualified for Euro 2007 in the Netherlands we can recall young players that have stronger physical conditions to join more experienced players in this transitional phase of Portuguese soccer,' Scolari told reporters.
Portugal are fifth in Group A on four points, six behind leaders Serbia with one match in hand.
Goalkeepers: Ricardo Pereira (Sporting), Quim Silva (Benfica), Daniel Fernandes (PAOK FC)
Defenders: Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Miguel Monteiro (Valencia), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Tonel (Sporting), Jorge Andrade (Deportivo Coruna), Manuel da Costa (PSV Eindhoven), Nelson (Benfica)
Midfielders: Tiago Mendes (Olympique Lyon), Deco (Barcelona), Carlos Martins (Sporting), Joao Moutinho (Sporting), Raul Meireles (Porto)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Simao Sabrosa (Benfica), Nuno Gomes (Benfica), Helder Postiga (Porto), Ricardo Quaresma (Porto)