Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Portugal 4 - 2 Northern Ireland

Gareth McAuley rises to beat Ronaldo and score the equaliser score during the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Portugal at Windsor Park, Belfast. 6/9/2013 Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Gareth McAuley rises to beat Ronaldo and score the equaliser score during the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Portugal at Windsor Park, Belfast. 6/9/2013 Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Ronaldo scores his first during the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Portugal at Windsor Park, Belfast. 6/9/2013 Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Ronaldo scores his first during the 2014 World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Portugal at Windsor Park, Belfast. 6/9/2013 Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Northern Ireland's Lee Hodson and Portugal's Fabio Coentrao during the game in Belfast. 6/9/2013 Pic David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland's Lee Hodson and Portugal's Fabio Coentrao during the game in Belfast. 6/9/2013 Pic David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland have lost against Portugal at Windsor Park after the home side's lead was decimated by a Ronaldo hat-trick leading to a 4 - 2 defeat.

Helder Postiga's red card left Northern Ireland with a big chance to take another major scalp as Portugal reached half-time at Windsor Park with the scores level and a numerical disadvantage.

Portugal went into the Group F World Cup qualifier as heavy favourites despite Russia's shock defeat in Belfast last month and all seemed rosy when Bruno Alves put the visitors in front after 21 minutes.

But West Brom defender Gareth McAuley pulled his side level with a fine header and was the victim as Postiga aimed an apparent headbutt his way to be sent off in the 43rd minute.

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