Alves' goal gives Portugal 1-0 win over Mexico

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 6, 2014 at 11:19 pm •  Published: June 6, 2014
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Portugal won a World Cup tuneup without star Cristiano Ronaldo. He'll be needed more once soccer's biggest tournament starts.

With the 2013 FIFA world player of the year sidelined for the second game in a week, Portugal needed extra time to beat Mexico 1-0 on a header by Bruno Alves on Friday night.

Coach Paulo Bento gave no hint whether Ronaldo would play in Portugal's World Cup opener June 16 against second-ranked Germany.

"We don't know," he said through a translator.

Portugal, ranked fourth in the world, is in one of the toughest World Cup groups with Germany, the United States and Ghana.

"We know we'll have many difficulties because all the teams are very well-organized, strong teams with great individual players, and they'll create a lot of difficulties for us," Bento said.

Mexico, ranked 20th after barely qualifying for the World Cup with a playoff win over New Zealand, showed improvement in its final friendly before its opening game Friday against Cameroon.

"The team demonstrated that (it) can do big things. We have to finish our attacks," Mexico coach Miguel Herrera said through a translator. "When you are dominating in the game, you can't lose in the last 30 seconds."

El Tri had the edge in the second half before Joao Moutinho's direct kick from about 35 yards was headed in by Alves in the 93rd minute.

Mexico started most of the players expected to be in its opening World Cup lineup. But Herrera must decide between Jesus Corona and Guillermo Ochoa as his starting goalie. Ochoa replaced Corona at halftime.