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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:24, June 26, 2006
Portugal lead Netherlands 1-0 at break
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Thanks to a breakthrough by Chelsea midfielder Maniche, Portugal led 1-0 against the Netherlands after a boring first 23-minute play at their last 16 match of the World Cup on Sunday.

The 29-year-old picked up the ball from Pauleta, sidestepped to the right and hammered a right-foot shot past Dutch keeper Edwin Van Der Sar.

It's also been Machine who scored to dump Holland out of the 2004 European Championships in a semifinal clash in Lisbon.

Portuguese celebration, however, was snapped on the 34 minute when Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to leave the pitch with an injured leg sustained in a ball-control challenge and was substituted by Sabrosa Simao.

The conditions turned out even more tough for Portugal in the dying seconds of the first half stoppage as Costinha, booked earlier for a foul on Phillip Cocu, was sent off after picking up a second yellow card deservedly for a deliberate handball.

Before the Portuguese opened the scoring, both sides, rated highly as two European heavyweights, bore a dull showdown despite a terrific start for the Netherlands.

The Dutch side has showed their teeth in less than one minute into the match, as Mark van Bommel's shot from 20 meters, set up by a nice effort from Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt, flied narrowly wide.

But the match went into a sluggish style, and neither team put real challenges to their opponents.

Van Der Sar, now the most capped player in Dutch football history on his 113th appearance, even risked a blunder at 13 by letting the ball slip under his foot before he recovered to clear.

Source: Xinhua

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