Portugal strut their stuff
Although they knew they were much better than the Solomon Islands, the Portuguese showed their opponents all due respect in claiming an easy 14-2 win in their last group stage game at Rio de Janeiro 2006. The world and European runners-up will now face Bahrain in a quarter-final clash from which they will expect to progress.
Despite never really troubling their illustrious opposition in this match, the Bilikiki Boys will retain as many good memories as they have left with the Brazilian spectators.
''It was our dream to reach the quarter-finals, but unfortunately my players are not yet experienced enough to be able to apply my instructions to the letter. But in any case, we have nothing to regret, as we gave it our all,'' declared their coach Eddie Omokirio.
Ze Miguel's men certainly did not allow the Oceanians much chance to get their hopes up. In a first period that was all one-way traffic, Portugal found the time to score four goals. At the other end of the pitch, their keeper Bruno was able to bask in the Copacabana sunshine practically undisturbed.
In such an unbalanced encounter, the scoreline - the heaviest of the competition so far - was of little importance in the end. Madjer confirmed his status as tournament top scorer courtesy of four more successful strikes. Meanwhile, goals from Richard Anisua and Joe Luwi offered the islanders two last opportunities to celebrate.
At the final whistle, the Portuguese coach Ze Miguel was understandably delighted with his team's authoritative performance.
''Rather than taking the opposition lightly, my players approached this game seriously and fully focussed. It's this attitude which made the difference today, as it meant the match quickly became easy for us.''
Referees: Alberto Moreira (BRA), Zondo Thabani (RSA), Sofien Benchabane (FRA)