Its a win for 10-man Albania

Picture Ronaldo – frustrated as a chance goes begging.Portugal’s disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign continued on Wednesday as they were held to a goalless draw at home to 10-man Albania.

Admir Teli was sent off for the visitors just before half-time after only coming on as a substitute in the 24th minute and, shorn of the creative talents of Maniche and Deco, Portugal could not find a way through.

It capped a miserable week for Carlos Quiroz’s men, who failed to find the target in Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate against Sweden, which followed a 3-2 defeat to Denmark last month.

Portugal and Albania sit level on five points with the Swedes, who have a game in hand, and behind the Danes and Hungary, who both have seven.

Albania even had the best chance of the first half when Ervin Bulku’s effort was cleared off the line by Miguel.

Cristiano Ronaldo came closest for the hosts, but his free-kick was comfortably saved by Albania keeper Arian Beqaj.

The Manchester United winger was then on the end of a hand in the face from Teli, who received a second booking after less than 20 minutes on the pitch.

Portugal upped a gear after the break in an attempt to make their numerical supremacy count and Hugo Almeida was twice denied by Beqaj, first with a header and then a fierce shot which was tipped on to a post.

Nani could have grabbed all three points four minutes from time but Beqaj saved brilliantly with his legs.

Besart Berisha also had a late chance for the visitors but fired high over the bar.


Portugal Quim, Miguel (Nuno Gomes 75), Pepe, Bruno Alves,Ferreira, Raul Meireles, Manuel Fernandes,Joao Moutinho (Quaresma 55), Danny (Nani 55), Ronaldo,Hugo Almeida.

Subs Not Used: Eduardo, Antunes, Fernando Meira, Carlos Martins.

Booked: Hugo Almeida.

Albania Beqaj, Beqiri (Teli 24), Curri, Vangeli, Bulku, Lala,Cana, Duro (Berisha 77), Agolli, Skela, Bogdani (Vrapi 45).

Subs Not Used: Hidi, Bakaj, Kapllani, Lila.

Sent Off: Teli (42).

Booked: Teli, Lala.

Att: 39,000

Ref: Knut Kircher (Germany).