Uncapped Pizzi replaces Almeida for Portugal

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) -Striker Luis "Pizzi" Fernandes has won his first call-up to the Portugal squad as the Euro 2012 semifinalist starts its World Cup qualifying campaign.

The 22-year-old Pizzi, who plays for Deportivo La Coruna in Spain, replaces injured regular Hugo Almeida for the Group F games against Luxembourg on Sept. 7 and Azerbaijan on Sept. 11.

Coach Paulo Bento left Hugo Viana out of his 23-man squad on Friday, preferring midfielder Manuel Fernandes of Besiktas.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal reached the European Championship semifinals in June, going out in a penalty shootout against eventual winner Spain.

Russia, Israel and Northern Ireland are also in Group F for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Eduardo (Istanbul BB), Beto (Braga).

Defenders: Joao Pereira (Valencia), Miguel Lopes (FC Porto), Bruno Alves (Zenit St. Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Nuno Andre Coelho (Braga), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Carlos Custodio (Braga), Raul Meireles (Chelsea), Joao Moutinho (FC Porto), Carlos Martins (Benfica), Manuel Fernandes (Besiktas), Ruben Micael (Braga).

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Nani (Manchester United), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto), Helder Postiga (Real Zaragoza), Luis "Pizzi" Fernandes (Deportivo La Coruna), Nelson Oliveira (Deportivo La Coruna).

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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