Skip to main content

Ronaldo on target as Portugal avoid upset in Luxembourg

September 7, 2012 -- Updated 2134 GMT (0534 HKT)
Cristiano Ronaldo scores Portugal's equalizer in Luxembourg watched by fellow striker Helder Postiga.
Cristiano Ronaldo scores Portugal's equalizer in Luxembourg watched by fellow striker Helder Postiga.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal have to come from behind to beat Luxembourg 2-1
  • Italy held to 2-2 draw in Bulgaria with Pablo Osvaldo scoring twice for visitors
  • England win 5-0 in Moldova in first qualifying match for manager Roy Hodgson
  • Germany, France and the Netherlands also secure opening wins

(CNN) -- Shocks were at a premium as 2014 World Cup qualifying kicked off in Europe Friday but Portugal were given a fright before beating minnows Luxembourg 2-1 in their opener in Group F.

It needed a Cristiano Ronaldo equalizer in the first half to cancel out Daniel Da Mota's 14th minute opener for the hosts.

Helder Postiga hit the winner just before the hour mark as they kept pace with Russia, who earlier beat Northern Ireland 2-0 in Moscow.

Of the big guns, England were the most comprehensive winners, beating Moldova 5-0 in Chisinau with Frank Lampard scoring a first half double and Jermain Defoe adding the other.

James Milner and Leighton Baines were on target after the break as Roy Hodgson's team took an early advantage in Group H with Montenegro and Poland sharing four goals in the other match in the qualifying section.

Germany were made to work hard by the Faroe Islands whose goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen made a series of fine saves.

The home side only led 1-0 at halftime in Hannover, but a second half double from Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil gave them a more comfortable 3-0 advantage by the final whistle.

Republic of Ireland were the other winners on the night in Group C as two late goals from Robbie Keane, with a penalty, and Kevin Doyle gave them a fortunate 2-1 win in Kazakhstan.

Euro 2012 runners-up Italy were grateful for a 2-2 draw in Bulgaria in Group, falling behind to a long range strike from Stanislav Manolev.

Italy hit back in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia with a pair of goals from their Argentine-born striker Pablo Osvaldo.

But Gerogi Milanov finished off a fine move to give the home side a deserved point.

France made a winning start in the tough looking Group I which also features reigning World and European champions Spain, who sat out the opening round of fixtures.

Didier Deschamps' new charges emerged 1-0 winners in Finland with Abou Diaby first half strike proving the difference.

New Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made a fine late save to keep out the hosts.

The Netherlands had Manchester United's Robin van Persie on target as they beat Turkey 2-0 in a heavyweight clash to start Group D.

Group A favorites Belgium, packed with big money English Premier League signings, made a solid start to their campaign with a 2-0 win over Wales, who had James Collins sent off in the first half.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany headed them in front before the break with Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen sealing the three points in Cardiff.

Bosnia-Herzegovina secured the biggest win of the night in Liechtenstein as Vedad Ibisevic and Edin Dzeko scored hat-tricks in an 8-1 romp.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT