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EUROPEAN SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

Portugal Moves On by Ousting Spain

June 21, 2004|From Associated Press

Portugal reached the quar- terfinals of the European Championship, ousting Spain with a 1-0 victory in Lisbon on Sunday in the most important soccer game between these neighboring countries.

Substitute Nuno Gomes scored in the 57th minute, with his low 18-yard shot past Iker Casillas, sparking celebrations at Jose Alvalade Stadium.

"We have given Portugal a day of joy," said Portugal's Brazilian Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. "We gave everything we had to give."

Portugal managed to survive a stunning opening-game loss to Greece and finished first in its group with six points.

"The pressure was really high," Portuguese star Luis Figo said. "It showed we can work for better things in the future. We are improving as time passes."

Greece and Spain finished with four points each and tied, 1-1, in their game, but the Greeks advanced because they scored more goals overall.

The Portuguese struggled early in the second half, but Gomes put the hosts ahead when he collected the ball with his back to the net just outside the penalty area. He turned past Juanito and beat Casillas, shooting into the bottom left corner.

Spain was in position to even the score two minutes later when goalie Ricardo failed to punch away a left-wing cross, but Raul headed wide of the far post from five yards.

Russia 2, Greece 1 -- In the other Group A game, Greece was upset in Faro.

But the Greeks, the surprise team of Euro 2004, advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time because of Portugal's victory.

Russia already was eliminated.

Russia's Dmitry Kirichenko scored in the second minute, the fastest goal in European Championship history.

Dmitri Bulykin made it 2-0 in the 17th minute after he was left unmarked to head in a corner kick from the near side.

Zissis Vryzass narrowed the lead in the 43rd minute, scoring for Greece from close range.

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