Portugal reached the quarterfinals of the European soccer championship with a 1-0 victory over Spain yesterday in Lisbon in the most important soccer game between these neighboring countries.
With the loss, Spain was eliminated from the tournament; Greece was the other team from Group A to advance.
Substitute Nuno Gomes scored in the 57th minute, with a low 18-yard shot past Iker Casillas, to spark celebrations at Jose Alvalade Stadium.
"We have given Portugal a day of joy," said Portugal Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. "We gave everything we had to give."
Portugal managed to survive a stunning opening game loss to Greece to finish first in its group with six points. Portugal will play the runner-up from Group B in a quarterfinal on Thursday. Their opponent could be France, England or Croatia.
"The pressure was really high," Portuguese star Luis Figo said. "It showed we can work for better things in the future. We are improving as time passes."
Greece and Spain finished with four points each and tied, 1-1, in their game. Each also had the same goal differential. But the Greeks advanced because they scored four goals overall; Spain scored two.
* RUSSIA 2, GREECE 1: In Faro-Loule, Portugal, Ditry Kirichenko scored in the second minute -- the fastest goal in the tournament's history -- and Russia ended an eight-game winless streak in European Championship play.
Dmitri Bulykin made it 2-0 in the 17th minute after he was left unmarked to head in a corner kick from the near side. Zissis Vryzass narrowed the lead in the 43rd minute, scoring a vital goal for Greece.
"People might say we didn't need this victory," Russia Coach Georgy Yartsev said. "I think we very much needed it."
Said Greek captain Theodoros Zagorakis: "I think we fulfilled all the promises we made at the start of the competition. . . . I think the world will be talking about us."