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Postiga Keeps Portugal Alive

Portugal grabbed a crucial 1-0 win over Russia at the Estadio da Luz on Friday night to keep their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup alive.

Helder Postiga was the only man to rattle the back of the net on the night as he tucked away a close-range volley just nine minutes in.

Russia were largely disappointing on the night, despite having come into the game with four straight wins in the group.

Portugal came out firing and just nine minutes in they got their reward when Postiga was left unmarked at the far post where he smashed home.

Russia were struggling to get out of their own half in the first period, and Fabio Capello was forced to work early as he took off Viktor Faizulin for Denis Glushakov. Another early change was needed as the injured Aleksandr Anyukov was replaced by Aleksey Kozlov.

Cristiano Ronaldo spooned a good chance over the crossbar from 12 yards out while Glushakov rolled a shot wide of the empty net soon after.

Fabio Coentrao saw the ball hit his trailing arm late in the half but the official never saw the incident as Portugal held onto their lead.

Ronaldo shot just wide after the break before testing the goalkeeper with another strike. Aleksandr Kerzhakov saw the ball smothered at his feet after bursting through the Portugal defence while Vladimir Bystrov fired just over with a stunning overhead attempt.

Both sides wasted late chances but Portugal had done enough to secure a massive three points as they look to secure a place in Brazil.

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