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CR7 Returns & Almeida Brace Inspires Portugal

Hugo Almeida bagged a brace as Portugal thrashed the Republic of Ireland 5-1 in an international friendly.

There was more good news for manager, Paulo Bento, as Cristiano Ronaldo lasted 65 minutes in the emphatic win at the MetLife Stadium.

Almeida opened the scoring as early as the second minute with powerful header to settle any Portuguese nerves.

Ronaldo nearly found the net on his return in the 20th minuet only for the upright to keep out his powerful free-kick.

The lead was doubled just a minute later, as Andy Keogh deflected Fabio Coentrao's cross into the back of his own net.

Minutes before the halftime break, Portugal made Ireland's job even tougher, as Almeida tapped home from close range after Ronaldo stinging effort had been saved.

James Mclean pulled one back for Ireland seven minutes after the restart as they looked to reduce the deficit.

After Ireland reduced the deficit, the Portuguese went up another gear, as Vierinha added a fourth in the 77th minute with a finish from close range.

While Coentrao completed the rout in the 83rd minute with a delightful finish, after the fullback was played in by Nani. 

Bento's men begin their World Cup campaign on June 16 against tournament favourites, Germany.


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