domingo, outubro 29, 2006

Portugal sneak in

Portugal sneak in

Last-gasp victory in Lisbon

Portugal's hopes of going to France next year are still alive, thanks to a last-minute try over Russia in Lisbon.

Portugal now face Georgia who beat Spain. If Portugal win that they will head straight for France. If they lose that they have to go into répechage. There they will play the loser of the two-legged qualifier between Namibia and Morocco and then, if they win that, Uruguay.

Russia can no longer qualify.

Russia went 23-16 up with 15 minutes to go but, as time ran out, Portugal scored the try which may yet send them to France next year. The try came with Portugal trailing 23-19. Lock Marcelo D'Orey broke brilliantly to send inside cengtre Diogo Mateus in for the try.

Russia started off in splendid fashion when they grabbed a dropped pass and centre Andrey Kuzin scored the try. 5-0 after just two minutes.

Gonçalo Malheiro, whose error had led to the try, then goaled a penalty. 5-3, which Viktor Motorin cancelled out with a penalty goal.

From the kick-off, Portugal got on top and good teamwork brought a try for right wing António Aguilar, converted by Malheiro to give Portugal a 10-8 lead at half-time.

The lead did not last long in the second half for near the beginning No.8 Vyacheslav Grachev burst through to score. Two penalties by Malheiro and one by Motorin were followed by Grachev's second try and Russia led 23-16 with 15 minutes to play.

Those 15 minutes belonged to Portugal. First replacement Duarte Pinto reduced the lead to 23-19, to be followed then by all the drama of the finish.


For Portugal:
Aguilar, Mateus
Cons: Malheiro, Pinto
Pens: Malheiro 3, Pinto

For Russia:
Kuzin, Grachev 2
Con: Motorin
Pens: Motorin 2


Portugal: 15 Pedro Leal, 14 António Aguilar, 13 Miguel Portela, 12 Diogo Mateus, 11 Pedro Carvalho, 10 Gonçalo Malheiro,8 Vasco Uva, 9 José Pinto, 7 Paulo Murinello, 6 Diogo Coutinho, 5 Marcelo D’Orey, 4 Gonçalo Uva, 3 Joaquim Ferreira, 2 João Correia, 1 Cristian Spachuk or Rui Corderio
Replacements: 16 Cristian Spachuk or Rui Cordeiro, 17 Juan Severino, 18 Sebastião Cunha, 19 João Uva,
20 Luís Píssara, 21 Duarte Pinto, 22 João Diogo Mota or Gustavo Duarte

Russia: 15 Dmitriy Zubarev, 14 Mikhail Babaev, 13 Andrey Kuzin, 12 Konstantin Rachkov, 11 Vladimir Ostroushko, 10 Alexey Korobeynikov, 9 Viktor Motorin, 8 Vyacheslav Grachev, 7 Artem Fatahov, 6 Aleksey Sarychev, 5 Kiril Kulemin, 4 Sergey Sergeev, 3 Victor Zdanovich, 2 Roman Romak, 1 Alexander Khrokin,
Replacements (from): Oleg Shukaylov, Vladimir Marchenko, Valery Fedchenko, Vladislav Korshunov, Aleksandr Shakirov, Yury Kushnarev, Sergey Belousov, Ivan Prishchepenko, Victor Gresev

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)


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