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Postiga blow for Portugal

Warsaw – Portugal striker Helder Postiga will miss their Euro 2012 semifinal against France or Spain after pulling a thigh muscle in Thursday's 1-0 win over Czech Republic, the country's football federation confirmed Friday.

Team doctor Henrique Jones had indicated after the game that Postiga would likely not make it after he had to be stretchered off late in the opening period to be replaced by Hugo Almeida.

Portugal striker Helder Postiga will miss their Euro 2012 semifinal against France or Spain after pulling a thigh muscle in Thursday's 1-0 win over Czech Republic. Credit: REUTERS

Afterwards, Portuguese team sources said that Real Zaragoza striker Postiga, a veteran of Portugal's run to the final in 2004, would have to rest for at least several days.

The 29-year-old - who scored in the 3-2 group stage win over Denmark - is “not fit to play in the semi-finals owing to a muscle strain behind the right thigh,” the Federation said in a statement following a scan on the injury.

“We are going to do all we can to ensure we get him back for the final,” assuming Portugal make it to the trophy match on July 1, Portuguese media had quoted Dr. Jones as saying late Thursday.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento has not made any changes in his starting line-up to date over four matches at the finals but will now have to call upon either Almeida or youngster Nelson Oliveira. – Sapa-AFP

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