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Portugal defeats Mexico in stoppage at Gillette

Bruno Alves yellow-carded
Bruno Alves yellow-carded
Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Friday night, Portugal - without Cristiano Ronaldo - defeated Mexico 1-0 in stoppage time in a World Cup warm-up at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, for packed crowd of 56,292. Bruno Alves scored the lone goal in the final minute of stoppage time with a header from 12 yards out off a free kick.

Real Madrid's Ronaldo forward has been sidelined with tendonitis in his knee and a muscle injury in his left thigh since the end of the regular season. 2013 Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo may also miss Portugal’s opening game of the World Cup against FIFA-ranked No. 2 Germany on June 16. The United States face Portugal in Group Play on June 22 and their slim chances for results would increase slightly without Ronaldo's presence. The USA begins it's World Cup campaign on June 16 versus Ghana and wrap up Group play on June 26 versus three-time World Cup champion and No. 2-ranked Germany.

Portugal was also without starting goalkeeper Rui Patrício and teammates Pepe and Raul Meireles, who were ruled unfit to play. Portugal has one more warmup in the United States, against Ireland on June 10 at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium before heading to Brazil.

Nani and Éder kept Mexico defenders on the run and Portugal's midfield three of Fábio Coentrão, Miguel Veloso and João Moutinho largely controlled possession and shut down Mexican attacking combinations as they began.

With the result, Mexico suffered a second straight loss in pre-World Cup preparation and the last before the real event, when they first face Cameroon on June 13. El Tri have now gone 194 minutes without scoring since their three goals against Israel and Ecuador to open their World Cup warm-ups. But Mexico improved in the second half with smart runs and good chances, particularly attempts from Manchester United's Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, who came off the bench, and Alan Pulido, who Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo denied.

Mexico goalkeeper Jesús Corona made a notable performance and saved El Tri from a greater negative differential and is likely to start at World Cup. His halftime replacement, Guillermo Ochoa, also made key saves.


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