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Soccer-Bruno Alves header gives Portugal win over Mexico

Reuters

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June 6 (Reuters) - A stunning last-gasp header by Portugal's Bruno Alves earned his side a fortunate 1-0 win over fellow World Cup qualifiers Mexico in a warmup match in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Friday.

The game looked set for a goalless draw when Bruno Alves soared to send an unstoppable header past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 93rd minute from a cross by Joao Moutinho.

But Portugal, missing captain Cristiano Ronaldo who is suffering from tendinosis and a thigh injury, also had to thank their stopper Eduardo who gave an inspired performance.

Mexico dominated the second half but Eduardo kept them out with fine saves from Hector Herrera, twice, and Alan Pulido leaving the door open for Bruno Alves to grab the late winner.

Portugal looked dangerous in the first half and Mexico keeper Jose Corona, replaced by Ochoa at halftime, had to deny Vierinha and then Eder after Fabio Coentrao put him through.

Mexico came close to scoring before halftime though with a long-range effort from Andres Guardado that flew just wide of the far post with Eduardo scrambling across his goal.

BRILLIANT EDUARDO

Portugal almost broke the deadlock five minutes after the break through Contrao but his close-range strike was blocked by Ochoa, who is battling with Corona for the starting spot.

Eduardo was then called on to make the first of three fantastic saves with a fine block just past the hour mark to deny Herrera, who was set up by substitute Javier Hernandez.

The keeper was called on again seven minutes later to stop another Herrera strike and in the last minute of regular time he pulled off a fine save to turn away Pulido's left-foot shot.

Portugal, who drew 0-0 with Greece in their previous friendly last Saturday, play a final warmup against Ireland on Tuesday ahead of their Group G opener with Germany on June 16 before Paulo Bento's side face the United States and Ghana.

The result was a disappointment for Miguel Herrera, Mexico's fourth coach since September, as he suffered his second straight defeat in charge of 'El Tri' after an unbeaten eight-match run.

The Portugal match was Mexico's final warmup before their World Cup opener against Cameroon on June 13 in Natal. They also face hosts Brazil before a tricky clash with Croatia in Group A. (Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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