Portugal 2 Turkey 0: Ronaldo and Scolari stick to the plot - International - Football - The Independent

Portugal 2 Turkey 0: Ronaldo and Scolari stick to the plot

For an hour, the suspicion was that long-running sub-plots would overshadow live drama. Each time Luiz Felipe Scolari emerged to lambast his Portugal team, as he did with increasing irritation, it brought to mind Chelsea's interest in the Brazilian manager. And, inevitably, Cristiano Ronaldo's every move was scrutinised as that of a possible Real Madrid player.

Fortunately, a splendidly-constructed opener from Pepe, the only member of the Portugal back four not enlisted by Chelsea, and a second from Raul Meireles ensured that by the finish the talk was focused more on Scolari winning a European Championship and Ronaldo becoming the player of the tournament.

Until Pepe jemmied open the contest with a goal started by Ronaldo, the Brazilian-born Real Madrid central defender scoring after a a fine one-two with his captain, Nuno Gomes, the group favourites appeared in danger of repeating their failing of four years ago and losing their first game. Before then, despite Ronaldo forcing a splendid save from Volkan Demirel, who touched his venomous free-kick on to the far post, and Gomes striking the woodwork, it appeared as if Turkey's last-ditch challenges and offside snare, into which Scolari's men too frequently fell, could prove effective.

Whatever the words of Scolari at half-time, they produced a response. Portugal raced through the gears and Fatih Terim's team were, eventually, brushed aside.

Ronaldo can be trusted to maintain the standards he has set at Old Trafford. He was given the captain's armband when Gomes was substituted, Scolari explaining: "I gave Cristiano the captaincy to give him strength and motivation." He revelled in a more advanced role.

Deco impressed, as did Joao Moutinho. If there is a concern, it is that Gomes alone up front is not a solution to the problem position of striker.

Scolari said: "We need six points so 50 per cent after one match is excellent. "We wanted some breathing space, and we got that."

No such luck for Ronaldo, though. The questioning began again. "I still don't know where I will play, I have not decided yet," he said. "I cannot worry about this, so I am calm." Too damn calm for Portugal's opponents.

Goals: Pepe (61) 1-0; Meireles (90) 2-0.

Portugal (4-2-3-1): Ricardo (Real Betis); Bosingwa (Chelsea), Pepe (Real Madrid), Carvalho (Chelsea), Ferreira (Chelsea); Petit (Benfica), Moutinho (Sporting Lisbon); Ronaldo (Manchester United), Deco (Barcelona), Simao (Atletico Madrid); Gomes (Benfica). Substitutes used: Meireles (Porto) for Simao, 63; Nani (Manchester United) for Gomes, 69; Meira (VfB Stuttgart) for Deco, 90

Turkey (4-3-3): Volkan (Fenerbahce); Altintop (Bayern Munich), Servet (Galatasaray), Gokhan (Besiktas), Hakan (Galatasaray); Kazim-Richards (Fenerbahce), Emre (Fenerbahce), Aurelio (Fenerbahce); Erdinc (Sochaux), Nihat (Villarreal), Tuncay (Middlesbrough). Substitutes used: Sabri Sarioglu (Galatasaray) for Erdinc, 46; Emre Asik (Galatasaray) for Gokhan, 55; Semih Senturk (Fenerbahce) for Altintop, 76.

Referee: H Fandel (Germany).

Booked: Turkey Kazim-Richards, Gokhan, Sabri Sarioglu.

Man of the match: Ronaldo.

Attendance: 31,000.

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week