TA'QALI, Malta, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Portugal got their World
Cup qualifying campaign off to a classy start on Saturday with a
4-0 victory in Malta.
Second-half strikes from Hugo Almeida, Simao Sabrosa and
Nani rubber-stamped a first competitive win for coach Carlos
Queiroz after Malta defender Brian Said had scored an own goal
to give Portugal a 1-0 halftime lead.
Portugal saw more of the ball in a first half that was
interrupted for around 10 minutes due to a power failure at
Malta's National Stadium.
Despite their possession, Portugal created only a handful of
scoring chances. Their opener came on 25 minutes when Jose
Bosingwa, cutting inside from the right, delivered a low cross
and Said deflected the ball into his own net as he tried to
Nani came closest to doubling Portugal's lead before
halftime but his lob from inside the penalty box drew a fine
save from Malta goalkeeper Justin Haber.
Portugal made the points safe 16 minutes into the second
half when Almeida doubled their lead with a fierce shot from
outside the box.
Quieroz's men cruised through the second half, hitting two
more goals to knock the fight out of the tiring Maltese team.
Simao Sabrosa made it 3-0 with a close-range shot on 71 minutes
after Haber had parried a dangerous shot from Nani who, seven
minutes later, fired home Portugal's fourth goal.
Portugal host Denmark in their second Group One qualifier on
Wednesday while Malta are away to Albania. The other teams in
Group One are Sweden and Hungary.