Portugal win again without Ronaldo

By Chris Wright, in Sport · 18-10-2018 10:42:00 · 0 Comments
Portugal win again without Ronaldo

Portugal have now won their last three games - impressive victories over Italy and Poland in the Nations League and a comfortable win against Scotland - without their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

Poland looked a bigger threat than last opponents Italy, with the forward duo of Krzysztof Piatek, in impressive goal-scoring form, and Robert Lewandowski, making his hundredth appearance for Poland, set to be a big test for Portugal’s defence.
The home side took the lead in the eighteenth minute when Rafal Kurzawa’s corner evaded Rui Patrício and Krzysztof Piatek rose highest to head home.
Fifteen minutes later and the visitors drew level when Pizzi made a smart run behind the Poland defence.
The Benfica man easily found André Silva to find the back of the net from close range. Portugal took the lead just before the interval with a beautiful pinpoint long pass from Wolves midfield dynamo Rúben Neves to Rafa Silva.

Rafa rounded Fabianski and was just about to place the ball into an empty net before Kamil Glik’s attempt to prevent the goal ended up as an own goal. Portugal increased their advantage seven minutes after the restart.
Mário Rui set-up Bernardo Silva and the Manchester City man showed superb skill to find space before slotting the ball past Fabianski from outside the box.
Fifteen minutes from time Pepe received a yellow card for a typically rash challenge so now misses Portugal’s trip to Milan to face Italy in November. Moments later, substitute Jakub BBaszczykowski rifled a shot past Patrício to set up a nervous finish for Portugal.
There was controversy surrounding the goal as Kamil Grosicki had clearly run the ball out of play in the build-up, but without VAR in the UEFA Nations League the goal stood. Portugal then moved on to Hampden Park for a friendly against Scotland.
Fernando Santos, without Rui Patrício, Bernardo Silva and Pepe who were all released from international duty, made a total of ten changes to his team that played Poland.
A debut goal for another Wolves player Hélder Costa and a couple of second-half efforts from Eder and Bruma gave Portugal a comfortable 3-1 victory. Costa’s goal, from a Kevin Rodrigues cross, came on the stroke of half-time. McKenna came close to grabbing an equaliser, ten minutes after the break, when his diving header was just wide of the target.
In the seventy-fourth minute Eder, the Euro 2016 hero, climbed high to head in Renato Sanches’ free-kick and double Portugal’s lead. Bruma added a third six minutes from time before Steven Naismith added a consolation goal for the home side deep into stoppage time. Portugal lead their Nations League group with maximum points from two games.


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