Cristiano Ronaldo misses penalty as Portugal suffer shock loss to Bulgaria
- Portugal slumped to a shock 1-0 home defeat to Bulgaria last night
A first half goal from Marcelinho and some heroic goalkeeping by Bulgarian goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov earned Bulgaria a shock 1-0 victory over their fancied hosts Portugal. Portugal’s star man Cristiano Ronaldo even had his second half spot-kick saved as the Portuguese players failed to get past the stubborn Bulgarian defence.
Portugal dominated proceedings from the beginning but they were guilty of some poor finishing as they missed a string of good chances to get on the scoresheet. Nani and Ronaldo looked particularly threatening with the forwards forcing 5 saves in the opening 6 minutes from the excellent Stoyanov.
However, completely against the run of play,Bulgaria took the lead when Brazilian-born Marcelinho marked his international bow by taking advantage of some hesitant defending to wriggle free in the box and poke the ball into the net.
Portugal’s wastefulness in front of goals was seen by the fact that Santos' side managed 20 attempts at goal in the first half to Bulgaria's two and yet still went in 1-0 down at half-time.
The second half followed the same script from the first half with Portugal looking threatening but they were once again unable to find a way past the Bulgarian defence. They were given their best chance to equalise hen Nikolay Bodurov handled Pepe's cross in the box.
Ronaldo stepped up to take the penalty but Stoyanov’s best save of the night kept out the penalty and Portugal were left to rue their wasteful performance in front of goal.
Bulgaria would have been thrilled that they came away with this victory as it was truly a back to the walls job.They defended resolutely and the man of the match was undoubtedly their goalkeeper Stoyanov who put in an absolutely stunning performance to deny the hosts.
Portugal face Belgium on Tuesday as they look to get their EURO 2016 preparations back on track.Published 26 Mar 2016, 10:15 IST