Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool C: Fiji 23-24 Portugal

Francisco Fernandes of Portugal celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second try against Fiji
Francisco Fernandes of Portugal celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second try against Fiji
©Photo by Julian Finney - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Fiji 23-24 Portugal, Pool C, Stadium de Toulouse

Portugal pulled off a sensational victory in Toulouse as they sealed a one-point victory in the Pool C encounter but Fiji managed to sneak into the quarter-finals following a losing bonus point.

The result saw Fiji and Australia tied with 11 points but the Pacific side joined Wales to the top eight on the verge of their head to head record over the Wallabies in the group stage. This was also the first time Wallabies have made an exit from the World Cup in the opening round.

Fiji will now face England in the quarter-final at Stade de Marseille on Sunday while Portugal's tournament comes to an end with a solitary victory from the four matches.

Frank Lomani started the proceedings with a 9th minute penalty goal after Portugal infringed at breakdown but they had an early injury setback with Temo Mayanavanua replaced in the 17th minute with Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta replacing him.

While both the teams were desperate for advantage, they had to settle the opening half levelled with Samuel Marques kicking a penalty goal from tee in the 37th minute.

The opening try of the game came in the 45th minute as Pedro Bettencourt sent a grubber kick that was collected by Rafaelle Storti on his way over the line. Marques landed the conversion as Portugal got into the lead for the first time raising the hope for a Wallaby qualification.

Nevertheless, Fiji responded almost immediately as Levani Botia powered his way over their opening try and Lomani improved it as the scores were levelled at 10-10. Fiji were down to 14 players temporarily as Botia was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle on Rodrigo Marta and Portugal capitalised on the numerical advantage as Francisco Fernandes dived from close range and Marques kicked the extras to make it 10-17.

With 12 minutes left in the game as Mesake Doge dotted down at the back of a well executed line out drive and Lomani kicked the conversion to make it 17-17. Lomani provided Fiji with an advantage as he kicked back to back penalties in the 73rd and 76th minutes to put them ahead by six points before the decisive moment came in the 79th minute when Storti freed for Rodrigo Marta to score and Marques held his nerve to kick the conversion to complete a one point victory for Portugal.

Points Table: Pool C

Position Team Played Won Lost Points
1 Wales 4 4 0 19
2 Fiji 4 2 2 11
3 Australia 4 2 2 11
4 Portugal 4 1 2 6
5 Georgia 4 0 3 3

Fiji: Maqala; Ravutaumada, Nayacalevu, Tuisova, Habosi; Botitu, Lomani; Mawi, Matavesi, Tagi, Nasilasila, Mayanavanua, Derenalagi, Botia, Mata.

Reserves: Ikanivere, Ravai Kovekalou, Doge, Cirikidaveta, Tuisue, Matawalu, Tela, Masi.

Portugal: Cardoso; Storti, Bettencourt, Lima, Marta; Portela, Marques; Fernandes, Tadjer, Ferreira, Madeira, Cerqueira, Wallis, Martins, Simoes.

Reserves: Costa, Diniz, Alves, Torgal, Granate, Belo, Appleton, Pinto