Mar 25, 2016 at 8.45pm UK

Quaresma (91')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Marcelinho (19')
Popov (21'), Bodurov (66'), Stoyanov (95')

Live Commentary: Portugal 0-1 Bulgaria - as it happened

Greece's Portuguese coach Fernando Santos is pictured during a group C football match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the international friendly between Portugal and Bulgaria from Leiria, which ended in a 1-0 away win.

Friday night's international friendly in Leiria pitted Euro 2016 participants Portugal against Bulgaria.

The home side dominated the first period, but Marcelinho's first international goal saw Bulgaria lead at the break.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed from the penalty spot in the second half as Portugal struggled to find a route past inspired goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

8.16pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live international coverage continues from Leiria as Portugal welcome Bulgaria. There are no points or prizes on offer tonight, but it will give both managers the chance to assess their squads as they build towards future events. Portugal will be hoping to make an impression at Euro 2016 this summer, but Bulgaria have their eyes on qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

8.19pmTonight will be the first time that these two nations have met since November 1992, when Portugal recorded a 2-1 victory in an international friendly. Overall, they have clashed on 12 occasions and Bulgaria actually lead the series five victories to four. They have not met in a competitive match since the 1973 World Cup though, when they drew 2-2. Right, let me bring you the team news here...


PORTUGAL: Lopes; Vieirinha, Alves, Pepe, Eliseu; William, Mario, Adrien; Nani, Ronaldo, Rafa

BULGARIA: Stoyanov; S Popov, A Aleksandrov, Bodurov, Milanov; Rangelov, Dyakov, Chochev, M Aleksandrov; I Poprov; Marcelinho

8.25pmCristiano Ronaldo returns to captain the home side tonight, while there are also spots in the final third for Nani and Braga's Rafa, who will win just his sixth cap tonight. Pepe, Bruno Alves and William Carvalho also all start for Portugal, but 18-year-old Renato Sanches, who has starred for Benfica this season, is named on the bench, alongside Southampton captain Jose Fonte.

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) vies with Denmark's defender Lars Jacobsen during the Euro 2016 qualifying football match Portugal vs Denmark at the Municipal stadium in Braga on October 8, 2015. © Getty Images

8.28pmAs for Bulgaria, Spartak Moscow attacker Ivelin Popov will skipper the team on his 59th international appearance, while Brazilian-born Marcelinho makes his international debut from the onset. FC Midtjylland defender Nikolay Bodurov, who played against Manchester United in the Europa League earlier this season, also starts alongside Aleksandar Aleksandrov in central defence.

8.31pmSo there we have it. No time to waste tonight – the two teams are in and we are now little under 15 minutes from kickoff tonight. Portugal boss Fernando Santos will be keen to see how his squad is progressing ahead of Euro 2016 as the Iberian nation build towards their group opener, which takes place on June 14. They have been drawn into Group F alongside Iceland, Austria and Hungary and will certainly fancy their chances of progressing to the knockout round with relative ease.

8.34pmPortugal secured their spot at Euro 2016 after topping Group I ahead of second-place Albania. They won seven of their group matches and only lost once to qualify with ease. The Iberian nation actually reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012 before losing to Spain on penalties, meanwhile, and have made it through to at least the quarter-finals in each of their last five European tournaments.

Portugal's players celebrate as they pose with a Portuguese flag at the end of the Euro 2016 qualifying football match Portugal vs Denmark at the Municipal stadium in Braga on October 8, 2015.© Getty Images

8.37pmIt would be fair to say that not many are tipping Portugal to threaten for the crown this summer, but any team with Cristiano Ronaldo stands half a chance. They will face Norway, England and Estonia in friendlies before the tournament gets underway and it will give Santos the chance to have a look at a number of young players, starting with tonight's match. Kickoff is fast approaching tonight.

8.40pmAs for the visitors Bulgaria, they have not qualified for a major international tournament since 2004, when they reached the European Championships. It has been a real struggle in recent years and they finished fourth in Group H during qualification for Euro 2016 – only managing to win three of their 10 matches as Italy and Croatia qualified from that particular section.

8.43pmAs mentioned, Bulgaria will already be focusing on qualification for the 2018 World Cup, which gets underway later this year. They have been drawn into Group A alongside Belarus, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Sweden, which is a rotten group to be honest! It is not exactly a booming period for Bulgarian football, but they have the chance to make an impression tonight.

Red card for Daniele De Rossi of Italy (C) during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.© Getty Images

8.44pmA final reminder of the two teams for tonight's match...

PORTUGAL: Lopes; Vieirinha, Alves, Pepe, Eliseu; William, Mario, Adrien; Nani, Ronaldo, Rafa

BULGARIA: Stoyanov; S Popov, A Aleksandrov, Bodurov, Milanov; Rangelov, Dyakov, Chochev, M Aleksandrov; I Poprov; Marcelinho

0 minKICKOFF! Here we go then - the national anthems have been completed and the flags have been exchanged. Time for the football. It is Portugal that get the first 45 minutes of action underway here...

2 min... as expected, Portugal have taken control of the possession in the opening moments, with William seeing plenty of the ball in the middle of the park. Ronaldo gets a shot away after finding space inside the Bulgarian box, but Stoyanov is on hand to make the save. Could be a sign of what is to come!

3 minSAVE! Wonderful chance for Portugal as Pepe picks out Nani with a stunning pass and the attacker strikes towards goal, but the Bulgarian stopper makes a brilliant save! Excellent!

4 minSAVE! Stoyanov gets down to keep out Ronaldo once again as Bulgaria continue to face an early onslaught in this international friendly. It could already be 2-0 to the home side tonight.

6 minSAVE! It is Ronaldo against Stoyanov at the moment and the Bulgarian stopper again comes out on top. Not sure Ronaldo's teammates appreciated him going alone there!

9 minWell, it has been a very, very impressive start from Portugal. They are full of running all over the park and Ronaldo looks in the mood as he continues to drive down the left. Bulgaria are playing 4-4-1-1 tonight, but the one up top - Marcelinho - just has not had a touch in the early moments here.

10 minCHANCE! Another wonderful chance for Portugal as Nani's cross lands at the feet of Ronaldo after a parry from the goalkeeper, but the captain fires over the crossbar from close range!

12 minBetter from Bulgaria as they break forward and force a mistake from William, but Pepe manages to clear Popov's cross at the near post. The resulting corner, meanwhile, is also cleared by Pepe.

14 minRonaldo is on a one-man mission tonight and the Portugal captain is again released inside the Bulgarian box, but Popov comes across to clear at the vital moment. The resulting corner is whipped in by Joao Mario, but the busy Bulgarian goalkeeper gets a clean punch to the ball.

16 minBulgaria have had a couple of chances to break in the last few moments, but they have not really driven forward with any real confidence. It has been laboured and a bit patchy from the visitors.

17 minPepe rises highest to meet a corner from the right, but his effort is wide of the post.

18 minBulgaria have a free kick just outside the box as Joao Mario brings Rangelov to the deck...

18 minSAVE! Lopes dives across his goal to keep out an effort from Popov.

19 minGOAL! Portugal 0-1 Bulgaria (Marcelinho)

20 minBulgaria lead and it is Marcelinho, on his international debut, that strikes. There seemed nothing on for the striker inside the box, but he scrambled clear of Pepe before poking the ball past Lopes!

21 minBOOKING! S Popov (Bulgaria) is booked for a late challenge on Eliseu.

24 minPortugal could have been three or four goals ahead inside the opening 10 minutes, but they trial with 24 minutes on the clock, which is an indication of where there troubles lie. They will always cause problems in the final third, but they do tend to give teams chances down the other end.

26 minNani has another go from distance after the ball breaks for the attacker outside the Bulgarian box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Already some frustration in the stands here.

26 minPortugal have a free kick in a dangerous area as Chochev brings Adrien to the deck...

27 min... SAVE! Ronaldo's effort is on-target and Stoyanov has to make a smart stop!

30 minPortugal continue to commit midfield runners as Adrien and Joao Mario both make smart runs into the away side's box, but the Bulgarian defence has been solid since a tough opening 10 minutes. Ronaldo is still on his one-man mission as he finds space in the left channel for the home team.

32 minAdrien looks to release Ronaldo with a through pass as Portugal threaten once again, but Bodurov is across to clear for a corner. Ronaldo, from the resulting set piece, throws himself at the ball once again, but the Bulgarian stopper stands tall to clear. What a game Stoyanov is having tonight!

33 minCLOSE! Joao Mario has a low strike deflected just wide of the Bulgarian post!

35 minPortugal continue to shift the ball from left to right as they look for space in the final third and the foul-count is rising as Bulgaria continue to concede free kicks in dangerous positions - bad idea!

36 minRonaldo hits another free kick and it deflects off the top of the wall before dropping behind.

36 minMISS! Incredible! Portugal have a wonderful chance to level as Adrien drives a low cross into Nani, who is barely five yards from goal, but somehow he deflects it over the crossbar!

37 minCHANCE! Super, super defending from Pepe as the Real Madrid centre-back nips in ahead of Rangelov to stop Bulgaria from moving 2-0 ahead here. Would have been another sucker punch!

40 minLittle over five minutes of the first period remaining and Bulgaria still lead in Leiria. Portugal could well have scored four or five goals already tonight, but Stoyanov is having a fine game here!

43 minPass, pass, pass from Portugal as they attempt to find a route through this Bulgarian defence. Eliseu eventually delivers from the left, but Milanov is on hand to make the clearance as the frustration inside the stadium rises. This is not what Fernando Santos would have had in mind here.

45 minJust a reminder that both managers are permitted six substitutions tonight and it would not be a surprise to see a couple made at the interval. At the moment, Bulgaria are entering the break ahead.

45 min+1Adrien hammers one into the stands as Portugal waste another shooting chance.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Portugal 0-1 Bulgaria

9.31pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Bulgaria leading 1-0 courtesy of Marcelinho's first international goal in the 19th minute. Portugal have had a whole host of excellent chances, but have found the away side's stopper Stoyanov very difficult to beat here!

9.36pmSTATS! Portugal have dominated the possession with 68%, while they had an incredible 20 attempts in that first half - six of which were on target. Bulgaria, however, only managed two attempts in total, but one of those found the back of the net. Just the one yellow card - S Popov for Bulgaria.

9.41pmBENCH WATCH! Portugal boss Fernando Santos has a number of attacking options on his bench tonight, with the likes of Danny, Andre Gomes, Eder, Bernardo Silva, Renato Sanches and Ricardo Quaresma all available. Bulgaria, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Delev, Tasev and Tonev.

9.45pmMuch for Portugal boss Fernando Santos to ponder at the break...

Greece's Portuguese coach Fernando Santos is pictured during a group C football match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Arena in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014© Getty Images

46 minRESTART! Here we go then - both sets of players re-join us on the pitch for the second period. Can Portugal find a route past the Bulgarian goalkeeper tonight? It is the visitors that resume the action...

47 min... no reported changes from either side at the moment, but I shall have a run through and bring you up-to-speed with anything that might have occurred. Nothing from the stadium announcer here!

49 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the early stages of this half, but Portugal remain the team on the front foot. Surely one of these many attacks is going to pay off for the home team.

50 minCHANCE! Super chance for Bulgaria to score a second as Popov sets up M Aleksandrov inside the Portugal box, but his effort is over the crossbar - should have scored!

52 minBulgaria have been very dangerous on the counter in the last few moments, but the same can also be said for Portugal as Nani and Ronaldo take it in turns to race away down the left. I would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals tonight, especially with the changes sure to arrive.

54 minSAVE! Stoyanov again gets down to keep out a strike from Ronaldo, before Bruno Alves fires the rebound over the crossbar. The ball just will not go in for the home side tonight!

55 minRonaldo again goes through for Portugal, but the Real Madrid attacker was in an offside position.

56 minAnother free kick for Ronaldo, but the Portuguese hammers his effort straight into the wall.

58 minLittle over 30 minutes of this international friendly remaining and Portugal continue to commit plenty of players to each attack, but Bulgaria are holding onto this impressive lead. No sign of any movement on either bench at the moment, which is a surprise as this game drifts on in Leiria.

59 minSAVE! Another save from Stoyanov as he keeps out a low Adrien strike!

62 minPortugal continue to commit players in the final third, but Bulgaria are making that final challenge and managing to clear before the real danger hits. I am not sure if it is luck or super defending!

64 minPortugal are preparing to make their first change and it is Danny receiving his final instructions from Fernando Santos. Still no movement on the Bulgarian bench, but there are some tiring legs out there as the pressure builds. Milanov is forced across to clear a really dangerous Nani cross.

65 minBULGARIA SUB! Slavchev replaces M Aleksandrov for the away team.

65 minPORTUGAL SUBS! Quaresma and Danny replace Adrien and Rafa Silva.


67 minPortugal are awarded a penalty as Bodurov is adjudged to have handled Pepe's cross inside the box. The centre-back's arm was up and Ronaldo will have the chance to level the scores here!

67 minSAVE! Stoyanov keeps out Ronaldo's effort and the skipper fires the rebound wide! Incredible scenes! This goalkeeper is having the game of his life against Portugal tonight!

68 minBOOKING! Marcelinho (Bulgaria) is booked for dissent.

70 minPortugal could have scored five or six goals tonight, but they just cannot find a route past this excellent goalkeeper, who has saved his team on a number of occasions tonight in Leiria.

73 minBulgaria are dropping deeper and deeper at the moment and it is inviting Portugal to commit numbers forward. Ronaldo again breaks through for the home side, but the flag is raised.

75 minPORTUGAL SUBS! Renato Sanches comes on for his Portugal debut in place of William Carvalho, while Danilo replaces Nani as Fernando Santos makes his third and fourth change tonight.

77 minYou still get the feeling that there is another goal in this match as Portugal continue to commit five, six players to each attack. Bulgaria have only made one change tonight, which is a surprise, but you cannot blame Petev for wanting to keep with the players that have got the team in this position.

80 minGood pressure from the home side as they force two corners in quick succession, but Bulgaria clear their lines on both occasions as Fernando Santos watches on from the touchline.

81 minCHANCE! Yet another wonderful chance for the home side as Eliseu delivers a fine cross into Nani, but the attacker lifts his effort over the crossbar - another incredible miss!

82 minPORTUGAL SUB! Raphael replaces Eliseu for Portugal.

82 minPORTUGAL SUB! Nani is also replaced by Eder in Portugal's final change.

84 minBULGARIA SUB! Marcelinho is replaced by Tonev for the away team.

86 minA young spectator has found his way onto the pitch here and wants a hug with Renato Sanches. No harm done - Sanches is more than happy to embrace the youngster and we all carry on!

87 minSAVE! Another save from Stoyanov, who keeps out a close-range Ronaldo header!

89 minBULGARIA SUB! Bozhikov replaces S Popov for the away team.

90 min+1We are into the first of four additional minutes here.

90 min+2BOOKING! Quaresma (Portugal) is booked for a late challenge on Bozhikov.

90 min+3BULGARIA SUB! Slavchev is replaced by Terziev for the visitors.

90 min+4Portugal continue to deliver crosses into the away side's box, but Bulgaria remain strong at the back and manage to clear their lines once again. Not long left and it remains 1-0 here.

90 min+4CHANCE! Eder fails to meet a super Vieirinha cross as Bulgaria survive again!

90 min+5BULGARIA SUB! Delev replaces I Popov for Bulgaria.

90 min+5BOOKING! Stoyanov (Bulgaria) is booked for wasting time.

90 min+6FULL-TIME: Portugal 0-1 Bulgaria

10.40pmSo there we have it. Bulgaria hold on to record an impressive win as they resist a whole host of Portuguese pressure, including a penalty from Ronaldo! What a turn-up in this international friendly. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action once again. Until next time!

Alberto Moreno of Liverpool and Siem de Jong of Newcastle United challenge for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on December 6, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne,
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