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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