Portugal wins the World Cup (virtually)

Hours before dumping England out of the real-life event, the Xbox Cup team go all the way.

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A team from Portugal has won the Xbox Cup, an online tournament run by Microsoft using EA's 2006 FIFA World Cup across Xbox Live. The final, played just hours before the Portuguese national team beat England on penalties in the real World Cup, took place in the Platz der Republik in Berlin. Mexico was beaten 2-1 by the Portuguese team.

The team, consisting of 28-year-old Miguel Angelo Dinis and 21-year-old Antonio Luis Ferreira Gomes, had earlier beaten Spain 3-2 in the semifinal. A corresponding fixture saw the host nation, Germany, ousted by Mexico in extra time. The trophy was presented by Microsoft's corporate vice president, Peter Moore, who professed his delight at the event's success. "The atmosphere today was absolutely phenomenal," he commented. "Seeing the matches being played out on the Xbox 360 has been nearly as good as watching the real thing."

Qualifying for the event began back in May this year, with top-ranked players on the Xbox Live 2006 FIFA World Cup online leaderboard selected as competitors on May 24. Thirty-two countries were represented in Germany, with teams playing for prizes including tickets to fixtures in the real World Cup. The UK team, made up of Christopher Bullard and Christopher Coyle, went out at the Group Stage--they tied with the USA on points, but with a slightly worse goal difference.

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