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Portugal, Ireland cruise into Euro 2012

CRonaldo (Getty Images)

Portugal might have needed the final playoff round to qualify for Euro 2012, but its latest performance put the rest of the field on notice that it can still live up to its reputation as a world powerhouse.

After being held to a scoreless draw in the first leg of its playoff with Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal exploded for six goals in a 6-2 rout in the home leg on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice, kicked things off for the hosts with a tremendous free kick, and Nani doubled the lead with a gorgeous strike from outside the area. Bosnia & Herzegovina twice got within one goal, but Portugal finished with a flurry, getting two goals from Helder Postiga and one from Miguel Veloso in a 10-minute span to run away with the result. 

Portugal was one of four teams to qualify for the finals in the second-leg matches played on Tuesday:

Robbie Keane's Republic of Ireland was already a virtual lock to be one of the final 16 teams after a 4-0 first-leg victory, but it officially cemented its place with a 1-1 draw against Joel Lindpere's Estonia. Stephen Ward and Konstantin Vassiljev traded goals to account for the scoring.

Keane emerged unscathed after starting and playing 67 minutes and will be ready to suit up for the Los Angeles Galaxy during this weekend's MLS Cup. Lindpere, the New York Red Bulls midfielder, started for Estonia, playing 54 minutes.

Croatia also rode it's first-leg advantage to eliminate Turkey. After winning, 3-0, on Friday, Croatia sparred the visitors to a scoreless draw on Tuesday.

Joining those three qualifiers is the Czech Republic, which added a goal from Petr Jiracek to its 2-0 first-leg advantage in a 1-0 win at Montenegro.  

As a result, the 16 teams in next month's Euro 2012 draw will be:

Poland, Ukraine, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, England, Russia, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden, France, Denmark, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland.


Impressed with Portugal's attacking display? What did you think of Tuesday's other results? Which underdog among the final 16 teams can you see doing some damage?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. LMBO, oh so here is a little Portugal hater. Portugal is a great team and they whooped Bosnia fair and square. Bosnia did have a player red carded, but who cares Portugal was still ahead before the man disadvantage. And Portugal has always maded out of their group the only time was in 2002. I am not gonig to waist my time defending Portugal to you. I will let Ronaldo’s magic and his crew speak for me. Waiter check please.

  2. Every snapshot review of the POR-BOS game that I’ve read, fails to mention that Portugal only pulled away once they were a man up. They all bang on about how “Potugal is still a team to be feared!” blahblahblah, but the fact is, they needed a playoff and a man advantage to even qualify.
    They’ll be lucky to make it out of their group.

  3. Another boring non-US article. When are you editors going to realize that we’re not coming to this site for the cookie-cutter crap we read on soccernet every morning? Give me substance please, and make it American. “The World of Soccer With and American Voice”??

  4. I blame the whole seeding for the play-offs. Had it been different, perhaps Estonia or Montenegro would have gotten a weaker opponent and made it to euro 2012. Poor Bosnia


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