Portugal wins, Italy draws in World Cup qualifying

On a low-key night of qualifying in the European zone, Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina both won to consolidate top spots in their groups but Group H leader Montenegro lost 4-0 at home to Ukraine to put second-place England back in control of its own destiny.

updated: June 08, 2013 13:42 IST
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Portugal revived its World Cup qualifying campaign by beating Russia 1-0 while Mario Balotelli was red-carded for Italy in a 0-0 draw at the Czech Republic that put the four-time world champions closer to next year's finals.

Helder Postiga's ninth-minute winner in Lisbon lifted the Portuguese from third to first in Group F, boosting the chances of football fans seeing Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in Brazil next summer.

While Portugal's qualification is still far from secure, Italy is now four points clear of Bulgaria in Group B with four matches left — three of which are at home — after the Azzurri held on for a draw in Prague following the hot-headed Balotelli's sending-off for two bookings.

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  • Football
  • Italy
  • Portugal
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  • Hélder Postiga
  • Mario Balotelli
  • Silvestre Varela