LISBON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - A blunder by goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira cost Portugal two points, earning Poland a 2-2 draw in a Euro 2008 Group A qualifier on Saturday.
'That is the way soccer is. There is no explanation,' said
Portugal coach Luiz Filipe Scolari.
Portugal put Poland under pressure but squandered several
chances to score in the first half including a 25-metre shot
from Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo that hit the
The leaders of Group A, who adopted a defensive game, went
ahead two minutes before the break with a goal by Mariusz
Lewandowski after Ricardo parried a first attempt by Jakub
Portugal upped the tempo in the the second half and
midfielder Maniche equalised four minutes after the break.
Cristiano put Portugal in front with the second goal after
73 minutes following a cross from the right by substitute
Ricardo Quaresma. But Poland equalised when Ricardo failed to
hold a long range shot from Krzysztof Lagiewka and it bounced
off the post and his back into the net.
'We had seven or eight players behind the ball but it hit
Ricardo's back. We were a little unlucky,' said Scolari.
'Poland is a team of quality and played with nine players
behind the ball making it difficult to create opportunities. My
players only did what was possible,' Scolari added.