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The BBC's John Hardy
"At certain periods Wales had Portugal rattled"
 real 28k

Friday, 2 June, 2000, 21:50 GMT 22:50 UK
Portugal brush Wales aside
Ricardo Sa Pinto
Ricardo Sa Pinto scored the second Portugal goal
Portugal 3-0 Wales

Portugal warmed up for Euro 2000 with a very comfortable victory over Wales in Chaves.

Humberto Coelho's side were never required to show all their talent against an understrength Wales side which was notably missing Ryan Giggs.

Barcelona superstar Luis Figo put the home side ahead and was at the heart of the second scored by Ricardo Sa Pinto. The game's best goal was reserved for the second half, when substitute Capucho produced an exquisite lob from 20 yards.

Coelho believed before the game that his side were not ready for their first game of the tournament against England, but he must have been impressed with the way his men dealt with the physical challenge posed by Mark Hughes' side.

Inspirational

The inspirational Figo settled down the nervous crowd after 21 minutes when his speculative free-kick deflected off Gareth Roberts and past the unlucky Darren Ward.

But Wales could have had themselves back on level terms within minutes when Portuguese keeper Vitor Baia came charging off his line and completely missed the pass played for Craig Bellamy.

The Norwich striker kept his composure but failed to beat Jorge Costa who had positioned himself on the goal-line.

A minute before half-time the lead was doubled, with Figo making an explosive break down the Wales right before delivering a pinpoint centre for Sa Pinto to slot home from just six yards.

Brilliance

The second half had begun in fairly tame fashion and it needed a flash of brilliance from substitute Capucho to bring it to some sort of life.

It came in the 66th minute, the midfielder playing a one-two with Dimas on the edge of the Welsh penalty area before stroking a delightful lob over the diving Ward.

There was still time for Nuno Gomez to squander a glorious chance in the final minutes, lofting the ball several yards over the crossbar when unmarked in the Wales penalty area.

That was in the final minute of normal time, by which point both sides had lost some interest in the contest.

Portugal : Baia, Costa, Vidigal, Couto, Figo, Pinto, Sa Pinto, Rui Costa, Dimas, Bento, Secretario. Subs: Espinha, Jorge, Conceicao, Capucho, Costinha, Beto, Pauleta, Gomes.

Wales: Ward, Delaney, G. Roberts, Page, Melville, M. Jones, J. Robinson, Bellamy, I. Roberts, Speed, Barnard. Subs: C. Robinson, Weston, Slatter, Llewelyn, Symons, M. Hughes.

Referee: F De Bleecker (Belgium)

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See also:

26 May 00 | Portugal
Baia in final Portugal squad
30 May 00 | Portugal
Bento to join Sporting Lisbon
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