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Euro 2008

Portugal impress in 2-0 win over Turkey

  • Story Highlights
  • Portugal beat Turkey in their Group A opener matches at Euro 2008
  • Defender Pepe and Raul Meireles score second half goals for Portugal
  • Cristiano Ronaldo nearly opened scoring with free kick which hit the post
  • Portugal early leaders of Group A from Czech Republic on goal difference
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(CNN) -- Portugal made a confident opening to their Euro 2008 campaign with an impressive 2-0 win over Turkey in their Group A clash in Geneva on Saturday night.

Brazilian-born Pepe scored a superb opening goal for Portugal.

Portugal's array of attacking talent, led by Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, carved out several chances but it was left to defender Pepe to provide a moment of magic to break the deadlock on the hour mark.

The Real Madrid star exchanged passes with Nuno Gomes and finished with the expertise of a striker.

The clincher came in second half injury time as Ronaldo started a slick move which ended with Raul Meireles slotting the ball home from close range.

2004 Euro finalists Portugal also hit the woodwork three times with Ronaldo coming close to a first half opener as his free kick clipped the inside of the post.

Portugal, who also reached the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup under Luiz Felipe Scolari, were largely dominant and controlled possession from the beginning at the 30,000-capacity Stade de Geneve.

Pepe, showing considerable enterprise for a central defender, had a goal disallowed in the 17th minute for being narrowly offside before Ronaldo saw his 35-yard free-kick brilliantly tipped onto the post by Turkey goalkeeper Volkan.

Both sides upped the pace after the interval and Gomes was twice denied by the woodwork, the first with a low shot, the second with a header from a Ronaldo cross.

Pepe's breakthrough goal left Portugal little opportunity to relax as Turkey pressed for an equalizer and substitute Emre Asik headed wide when in acres of space.

Middlesbrough's Tuncay Sanli also had a half chance to spoil Portugal's party towards the end but completely missed his kick.

And the door was firmly closed on Turkey in stoppage time when Ronaldo burst clear on the left, his pass finding Joao Moutinho who set up Meireles to score.

Man of the match Pepe said: "I can hardly describe the emotion I felt - but the important thing was we played like a real team and knew sooner or later we'd score a goal."


Scolari was also pleased by his side's opening contribution.

"They showed good technical quality and impressive form - they were dynamic and willing to win," he said.

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