The match opened brightly, with Latvia's EURO 2004™ star Maris Verpakovskis sliding in at the near post to meet a low cross by the impressive Andrejs Prohorenkovs. His effort, which flashed over goalkeeper Ricardo's crossbar, was to prove the home side's best chance.
 However, both sides contributed fully to an open, frenetic first half, with Portugal's intricate passing matched by Latvia's pace on the break. Neither could craft a clear opening, however, with Aleksandrs Kolinko hardly tested in the Latvian goal despite some lengthy spells of Portuguese possession.
 As in the first half, Latvia opened the second period brightly. But when Imants Bleidelis raced onto Prohorenkovs' through-ball, there was no one to convert the midfield player's intelligent pull-back.
 On 58 minutes, a Maniche cross was bounced and parried around the Latvian box. Ronaldo was involved in the ensuing scramble before Jorge Andrade's volley was blocked by Zemlinskis. But it was the Manchester United FC midfield player who reacted decisively when the ball fell to him a second time, slamming it in from 15 metres.
 Latvia were visibly stunned and from the restart they immediately conceded possession to the livewire goalscorer. Ronaldo duly crossed for Pauleta to head a second goal that effectively made the points safe.
 Latvia coach Aleksandrs Starkovs was subsequently sent from the dugout by the fourth official for protesting that the first goal should have been disallowed for handball. His side subsequently struggled hard but were unable to find a way back into the game.
 Portugal could – and should – have made it three when Luís Boa Morte was released by Deco. His first effort was saved well by Kolinko, but the rebound fell kindly for the striker, only for him to hesitate, stumble and steer his second chance wide. Portugal had already done enough to secure the victory, however, and next play Estonia on Wednesday with Lativa travelling to Luxembourg the same night.