World Cup 2010
Match Reports

England 3-0 Portugal
Friendly
Wembley Stadium, London, England - Wednesday 22 April 1998


This victory was England's first over Portugal in 29 years. Despite the scoreline, the game was much closer than the result suggests, and Portugal deserved to at least get on the score sheet, if not more.

Hoddle fielded what he said was his best available 11 players, Southgate was one of the regulars missing due to illness, and Gascoigne was rested with an ankle and groin injury.

At the start of the game it appeared that England would cruise to victory but this was not the case despite the scoreline. Sheringham came close to giving England an early lead in the third minute when he took the ball passed Portugal's goalkeeper, Baia, but he headed over the crossbar. Two minutes later England did go ahead. Shearer scored his first international goal since Le Tournoi last summer. The goal started off from a Graeme Le Saux throw-in to Sheringham. The Manchester United player, passed the ball back to Le Saux who crossed to the far post to Shearer who delivered the header past Baia.

However, England were not to dominate play. Portugal played extremely well and a number of times they tested Seaman. The first time they caused problems for England's defence was through the teaming of Pinto and Figo. Portugal should have capitalised on their possession and skill but their final shot from Figo went too wide as he chipped the ball over Seaman. The visitors continued to pressure England and kept Seaman busy between Calado and Pinto.

England did get chance to try their hand at a second goal in the 26th minute when Scholes supplied Shearer with a great ball. Shearer passed to Le Saux who forced Baia to make the save. Then it was back to the pressure by Portugal before the half-time whistle interupted play.

During the interval England substituted Merson for Beckham. The home side again made a great start to the new half, scoring in the 46th minute. Ince played the ball which deflected off the referee to Sheringham, who managed to put the ball over Baia.

Portugal had still not given up and tried to get on the score sheet through Pinto and Cadete, and almost suceeded but were stopped by Seaman. Then on 65 minutes England sealed the match with a superb goal by Shearer. Batty crossed to the right to Shearer, who sent the ball blazing passed Baia on the volley from 20 yards out.

Portugal were not over trying to obtain something from this match. Couto's free-kick 15 minutes from time forced Seaman to make an excellent save. Then the England goalkeeper have to make another good save from Cruz to keep a clean sheet. In between these two Portugese attempts Owen replaced Sheringham and almost scored straight away but the ball hit the side netting.

Portugal found themselves down to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining. Capucho was shown the red card for bad language, but initially he was being cautioned for a tackle on Scholes.

Then with not much time on the clock, Adams headed in a Merson free-kick, but alas it was not to be as the whistle was blown for a foul. Owen also tried again to score his first goal for England but was brought down in the penalty area by Baia but no penalty was given.


Teams

ENGLAND:
Seaman, G Neville (P Neville 81 mins), Le Saux, Ince, Adams, Campbell, Beckham (Merson 46 mins), Batty, Shearer, Sheringham (Owen 77 mins), Scholes.
Subs Not Used: Unknown.

PORTUGAL:
Baia, Xavier, Dimas (Barbosa 54 mins), Beto, Couto, Sousa (Oceano 75 mins), Figo, Joao V Pinto (Capucho 68 mins), Calado, Santos, Cadete.
Subs Not Used: Unknown.


Match Details

England Scorers: Shearer (5 & 65 mins), Sheringham (46 mins)

Portugal Dismissal: Capucho (80 mins)

England Cautions: Batty
Portugal Cautions: Beto

Referee:M D Vega (Spain)

Attendance: 63, 463