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World Cup Countdown: Eto'o sent off as nani seals portuguese win

9 days to go

Portugal saw off Cameroon 3-1 in Covilha last night, with Manchester United's Nani delivering the decisive blow after Samuel Eto'o had been sent off for Cameroon in the first half. The Portuguese looked to have killed off the Indomitable Lions' challenge early in the second period when Porto midfielder Raul Meireles scored his second of the night to put the home side 2-0 up, but substitute Pierre Webo gave the 10 men of Cameroon hope when he pulled one back in the 69th minute.

Meanwhile, Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie were both on target as the Netherlands swept aside Ghana 4-1 in Rotterdam. Liverpool's Kuyt opened the scoring in the 30th minute, but the Dutch struggled to make the game safe until Rafael van der Vaart finished off a one-two with Mark van Bommel on 73 minutes.

Asamoah Gyan grabbed one back for Ghana five minutes later, but it was the Dutch who finished the stronger, with a stunning long-range volley from Wesley Sneijder and a penalty from Arsenal's Van Persie.

"We were patient against opponents who use the counter-attack although our build up lacked pace," said the Netherlands coach, Bert van Marwijk. "Today we did very well and had depth to our game."

Highlights of the day

Quote of the day

"I wish he was playing in the Cup this year. But he will be back for the next one, you know." Tom Cruise backs David Beckham to return for the 2014 World Cup. Surely that's a Mission Impossible – even for Golden Balls

Purist of the day

"We can lose all three group matches as long as we play entertaining football to please the crowds and get them on their feet." Slovenia manager Matjaz Kek has high hopes for his side