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Portugal sink England on penalties

Ricardo saves another penalty to put Portugal into the World Cup semifinals.


GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany -- Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo saved three penalties to give his side a 3-1 penalty shootout win over England in the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday after a goalless 120 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty after Ricardo saved penalties from midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and substitute Jamie Carragher.

Ricardo is the first goalkeeper to save three penalties in a World Cup shootout.

England were forced to play the final half hour of normal time and the whole of extra time with 10 men after striker Wayne Rooney was sent off for stamping.

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari paid tribute to the way England responded to the loss of Rooney.

"Congratulations to England, with 10 players they were incredible, it was an electrifying match," he said.

"We didn't take advantage because we shot too much from outside the penalty area. England closed the way to goal very well and it was like playing 11 against 11."

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who now steps down from his role after five years in charge, said defeat was an injustice.

"We are out of the tourament and that hurts. I don't think we deserved to lose," he said. "We did very well. In the second half we started to control the game like we hoped to do. I think we held up very well."

On being knocked out on penalties, the Swede added: "Losing once again on penalties, I'm really sorry about that. We practice penalties so much so I don't know what more you can do about that."

Rooney's stamp on Ricardo Carvalho saw the striker receive a red card.

After a closesly-contested first half, the drama sparked after 62 minutes when Rooney, only back from a broken foot at these finals and seen as key to their World Cup hopes was red-carded.

Involved in a tussle for possession, Rooney stamped on the groin of defender Ricardo Carvalho virtually in front of Argentine referee Horacio Elizondo.

England were already without captain David Beckham, left sitting in tears with his head in his hands after being susbstituted in the 51st minute, after taking a knock from Nuno Valente.

Nothing went right for Eriksson's men, who had had a penalty appeal ignored just two minutes earlier when a Beckham cross struck the arm of Valente.

Eriksson reacted to Rooney's dismissal by bringing on towering striker Peter Crouch for left winger Joe Cole, but England were badly lacking firepower up front.

Scolari, who was behind England's downfall at the 2002 World Cup for his native Brazil and did the same for Portugal at Euro 2004, tried to galvanize his side.

It was a far cry from a balanced opening 45 minutes.

In a free-flowing start, England keeper Paul Robinson had to smother in a goalmouth melee, while Portugal's defence nearly was unlocked by a neat three-man move and Frank Lampard almost got on the end of a Steven Gerrard through-ball.

Beckham's replacement, Aaron Lennon, caused havoc with his first touches after the break -- teeing up Rooney, only for him to mis-kick, while Cole prodded the loose ball over the bar from point blank range.

Minutes later, things turned a lot worse for England as Rooney, who had limped out of that Euro 2004 quarterfinal with Portugal with a broken bone in his foot, this time got his marching orders.

Portugal soon had England in the ropes, without creating a gilt-edged scoring chance, while John Terry and Crouch were both denied by last-ditch interceptions.

Though winger Cristiano Ronaldo was a constant threat, Scolari's men struggled to break down England's tiring side.

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