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Portugal Without Ronaldo Couldn't Win Croatia

Portugal, Without Cristiano Ronaldo, Hold Tie As They Draw Croatia

Pepe on target for Portugal in a friendly match where the defender scored a brilliant goal for Gus national team. 

Croatian Ivan Perisic and Portuguese  Pepe struck for their sides as Croatia played their first match since their World Cup final defeat by France ended in a draw on Thursday night.

Croatian Ivan Perisic had volleyed in from close range in the 18th minute to put the visitors in front on a one goal lead, before Pepe, who scored in his country’s last-16 loss to Uruguay in the FIFA World Cup tournament this summer, turned Pizzi’s cross on 32 minutes into a goal. 

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo missed the game after he was declared unfit for the match.

Sergio Oliveira and Gedson Fernandes won their first caps after coming on as second-half substitutes for the visitors.

Croatia are now without their world Cup goalkeeper Danijel Subasic as he just retired and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, while influential midfielder Ivan Rakitic was rested for the game.

Both countries begin their Nations League campaigns next week.

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