Portugal opened their Euro 2008 campaign in impressive fashion, coasting to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Turkey.
Pepe put Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side in front on 61 minutes, and substitute Raul Meireles added a second in injury time to give Portugal a well-deserved win.
The pre-match build-up had almost been overshadowed by the ongoing speculation regarding the future of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Manchester United winger wasted little time in demonstrating why he is in such high demand at present.
A stunning free-kick by the 23-year-old brought an astonishing fingertip save from Turkish keeper Volkan Demirel – the ball ricocheting onto the post and away to safety.
Scolari’s men were to be denied by the woodwork on two further occasions as Turkey struggled to contain a vibrant Portuguese side. First Nuno Gomes hit the inside of the post after Simao had taken advantage of some slack Turkish defending, and then the same player was picked out by a precise cross from Ronaldo, but his cushioned header clipped the bar.
Portugal had to wait until 61 minutes to find tangible reward for their evident superiority. The move was begun and ended by central defender Pepe. The Real Madrid player received the ball just inside the Turkish half, ghosted past two defenders and played an exquisite one-two with Nuno Gomes, before lifting the ball over the despairing Demirel.
The goal failed to spark Turkey and if a second goal was to arrive it seemed certain to come from Portugal. Sure enough, with seconds remaining, a lightning break saw Ronaldo findthe impressive Joao Moutinho who spun on the ball before setting up Meireles for an easy finish.
Turkey’s best effort came when Emre Asik headed Nihat’s corner wide when unmarked only eight yards out. However, although Fatih Terim’s side battled gamely throughout, the outcome was never in question.
The win sets Portugal up for next week’s showdown against the Czech Republic, with the the winners of that game looking destined to top Group A.
Portugal 2 Turkey 0
Scorers: Pepe 61, Raul Meireles 90+3
Portugal: 1-Ricardo; 4-Jose Bosingwa, 16-Ricardo Carvalho, 15-Pepe, 2-Paulo Ferreira; 10-Joao Moutinho, 8-Armando Petit, 20-Deco (5-Fernando Meira 90+2); 11-Simao Sabrosa (6-Raul Meireles 82), 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 21-Nuno Gomes (19-Nani 69).
Turkey: 23-Volkan Demirel; 22-Hamit Altintop (9-Semih Senturk 76), 2-Servet Cetin, 4-Gokhan Zan (15-Emre Asik 55), 3-Hakan Balta; 18-Kazim Kazim, 5-Emre Belozoglu, 7-Mehmet Aurelio; 21-Mevlut Erdinc (20-Sabri Sarioglu 46), 17-Tuncay Sanli, 8-Nihat Kahveci.
Referee: Herbert Fandel (Germany)