Portugal 2-0 China (FT): LIVE Blog
All times in GMT 0:00, match at Estadio Cidade de Coimbra, Portugal, 20:45 Lisbon, London; 15:45 New York; 22:45 Johannesburg; 04:45 (Thu) Beijing
22:50 – A very disappointing second half. Tiago’s absence was very noticeable. At first glance Moutinho and Meireles aren’t compatible. It could be they simply haven’t had any chance to play together not allowing them to know their routines inside the pitch. Pedro Mendes seemed to wait for them instead of going head on to stop any play building from happening. Seeing he’s always played the defensive-midfield role I can understand this, he simply needs a strong midfield pair ahead of him and Meireles-Moutinho aren’t it. Meireles turned off midway through the second half and from that moment on we just got overrun. Sordid affair. Varela is an interesting player but can’t picture him over Simão, Nani or Ronaldo on the wings. Liedson-Almeida-Varela is a combination that didn’t allow for any of them to shine. The best thing I can say about the game is… it’s over. Did Queiroz learn anything from it? Let’s hope so because it didn’t go towards getting the supporters on his side ready to bring out all those flags we saw during the Euro 2004.
22:42 – 94:50 – Full Time. The supporters aren’t happy and voice/whistle their discontent. This saddens me.
22:41 – 94:00 – Corner kick. China heads it away. Moutinho tries a shot from outside the goal-area. The ball hits Liedson and finds the back of the net. Strange goal to end a strange match.
22:37 – 90:00 – Varela dribles a defender, enters the box only to shoot way over the bar. Good effort. Lousy finishing.
22:36 – 88:40 – Shot wide by China. We are giving the ball cheaply. Pedro Mendes isn’t his usual self.
22:33 – 85:52 – Great effort on goal by China, shot goes wide! What is going on!? We have completely lost midfield. Unbelievable.
22:30 – 83:10 – Hilario dribles the Chinese striker and then gives the ball away trying to find Miguel. FFS!
22:27 – 80:00 – The supporters in the stands are running out of patience. Oles for… China!
22:25 – 77:00 – Moutinho takes the shot from 30m+ out. Over the bar. Why try from that distance if you don’t have the needed power shot (or at least aren’t known to have one)? Get it to the wings!
22:22 – 75:00 – The game lacks pace. Pedro Mendes is playing to far back not applying the same pressure Tiago did as soon as China had the ball. Moutinho seems absent. China is trying to defend further away from their box and has managed to keep us at bay so far.
22:13 – 65:55 – Great run by Varela. Cross gets headed away by a defender but the ball finds Meireles who fires it against the post!! That should have been another goal! We’ve seen this by the truck loads during the qualifiers. Great opportunities but no goals. Nerve wrecking.
22:10 – 62:40 – Tonel on for Bruno Alves.
22:08 – 61:30 – Varela (25 years, 1st cap for the NT) on for Nani.
22:05 – 57:13 – Great cross by Nani to Hugo Almeida who instead of getting the shot off tries to drible past the defenders and eventually pass the ball to Liedson but the play gets lost amongst the defenders.
22:02 – 55:00 – Good recovery by Moutinho who passes to Liedson entering the box but unable to properly control the ball shoots over the bar.
21:59 – 51:10 – Horrible left-footed cross by Paulo Ferreira. Quality of the game has decreased noticeably.
21:53 – 45:00 2nd Half – There are a couple of changes in the team. Hilario on for Eduardo. Miguel for Duda and Moutinho for Simão. Paulo Ferreira moved to left-back. Pedro Mendes takes Tiago’s place and Liedson on for Ronaldo.
21:33 – 46:15 – Half-time.
Paulo Ferreira’s blunder still fresh in my mind I now find it hard to rate this first half. Above average performance but another display of our lack of killer instinct in the striker department. Everybody tried. Hugo Almeida managed once.
21:33 – 46:00 – Paulo Ferreira looses the ball allowing them to enter the goal-area and get a shot on goal. Good save by Eduardo!
21:30 – 42:55 – Nani pressures their right-back managing to steal the ball. Crosses to Hugo Almeida. With only the keeper in front of him allows the save! Second goal in sight.
21:28 – 41:00 – The pressure we apply as soon as they have the ball is enormous. We are keeping them inside their half of the pitch. Good stuff.
21:26 – 38:05 – Duda hits the bar from a free-kick!
21:22 – 35:00 – Cristiano Ronaldo on the counter finds Hugo Almeida just inside the box. Good shot. Great Goal!!
21:20 – 33:00 – Meireles is recovering a lot of balls in midfield. Strong performance so far.
21:17 – 30:00 – Good cross by Paulo Ferreira that finds Simão in the middle. Another one headed into the keeper’s hands which are starting to look like ball-magnets.
21:12 – 25:01 – Hugo Almeida avoids a defender and gets a shot on target from outside the box. The target being the goal-keeper. Good effort.
21:08 – 21:10 – Ronaldo and Simão combine to enter the goal-area. Great shot by Ronaldo and an enormous save by the Chinese keeper… again!
21:06 – 19:20 – Chinese defender saves the ball at it was about to cross the goal-line! Great opportunity by Hugo Almeida! We are dominating!
21:05 – 18:00 – Hugo Almeida tried to head the ball past the keeper but he managed to get the tips of his fingers on the ball enough to avoid the first goal!
21:02 – 14:35 – Good cross by Duda (!) headed over the bar by Nani. That should have been on target! Very dangerous.
20:59 – 11:30 – Duda takes his time tracking back. China has shot just wide.
20:57 – 10:00 – Cross into the box headed into the keeper’s hands. Think it was Simão. Could have done a lot better.
20:54 – 06:50 – Left side freekick. Ronaldo shoots just wide.
20:52 – 04:52 1st Half – I picked a hell of a day to do this. Just got home in time to see Ronaldo cross into the box. Almeida deflected to Nani who had everything to score and shot over the bar. Great chance!
16:51 – Portugal Under 23 beat Wales Under 23 by a conclusive 7-2
João Ribeiro, Vaz Té (2), Paulo Machado, Bruno Gama and Saleiro did the honours.
Good omen for tonight’s match.
16:26 – Portugal’s group stage adversary, the Ivory Coast, lost to the South Koreans. Two unreplied goals. Things aren’t always as easy as they seem. The Ivory Coast elephants were trying to learn something about Asian soccer as they face the same North Korea we do. How is that for a lesson?
16:00 – Queiroz has just released the line-up for tonight:
Paulo Ferreira – Rolando – Bruno Alves – Duda
Raul Meireles – Tiago
Simão Sabrosa – Hugo Almeida – Nani
Rolando takes over for Carvalho who apparently has a thigh injury. Sporting’s Tonel was called up at the last minute.
IC are overrated …. they might play a good match or two but eventually they always get a reality check by the big teams …. and by south korea (no offense )!
Posted from France
There are rumours of Hiddink (!!!) going to Ivory Coast
P.S. Portugal away shirt is awful.
P.P.S. Thanks for the live blogging Miguel.
lol @ Ivory Coast losing to South Korea today. And people expect them to beat us?
Omg Hilario is on!!!! :S
This got really ugly in the 2nd half. I was getting restless as well. Mendes, Moutinho, Meireles couldnt hold midfield. Miguel showed why he is better then Duda and should start. Varela was lively and Liedson was trying to get going. Almeida feeling rusty. Hilario trying to dribble the chinese striker? What a joke. What a blow for Carvalho. Hope it isnt too serious. Tonel – playing for Portugal? got me laughing. If Queiroz wakes up then he certainly should be able to tell who (from this game) deserves a direct trip to SA.
Posted from Canada
What kind of Portuguese name is Seth? :-0
Posted from United States
Seth is my middle name because I come from a Hebrew background from father’s side. So yea, I don’t use my first name around here q_q
But if it will make you sleep better, rest assured my first name is pure Portuguese.
As for the game…ugh. The secnd half was like watching paint dry. PLZ PLZ PLZ do not let this team show up @ SA.
i don’t know what to make of this result, i mean i’m happy it’s a win alongside the lose of IC earlier that day, but we will not advance to the next round with this gameplay, we need to act as a team, CR9 is not everything, even though in that game he proved he can also produce quality internationally and not only at club level, for he was a good captain today
anyways … Forca !!
Aside from the chance to get a feel for some of the B-team players, I’m choosing to completely chalk the 2nd half of that game to a bad experiment. I’m actually glad it happened so that Queiroz can see exactly how little wiggle room he has in the experimentation department. Lesson learned.
As far as the 2nd half I was actually quite impressed.
Ronaldo – terrorized the Chinese defense and looked great as both a playmaker and potential goal-scorer. Judging by the level of his passing, I think he’s finally ready to lead us into international play.
Duda – actually fairly impressed (something I never thought I’d say). Pretty good crosses sent into the box and I didn’t know he was such a hot shot on the free kicks. That being said, this was China and a bigger time is likely to send him back to his usually routine of getting snuffed out like a 12 year old boy.
Meireles – love/hate…love his energy and ball awareness, HATE the fact that he wastes so many plays on launching the ball about 12 feet above the crossbar. Especially when the offense is set and he has 4 other players closer to the goal and ready to receive a pass. So annoying.
Nani – sleeping giant…WAKE UP MAN!
Mendes & Varela – unimpressed but hard to change while playing with such a rag-tag squad like the one we had in the 2nd half. Both will be fantastic as subs.
And to end on a positive note…if you consider the 1st half quality of play, then consider the fact we were missing our creative force in the form of Deco and potentially Micael. And further throw in Leidson instead of Almeida as well as Carvalho, Bosingwa and possibly Pepe in the back and, wait a minute, we got ourselves a pretty damn good team…potentially.
Come to think of it, I’m kinda glad the world saw us in such bad shape yesterday. It’s better for the Portuguese mentality if we’re written off as a serious threat. And the fact that IC lost and Brazil didn’t look very impressive…I don’t want to get too excited but I’ll I’m saying is it could be worse…could be a lot worse. Booyow.
team wil be better in world cup. better than Ivory coast.
bad news my friend, bosingwa is out of the WC formation , that’s for sure so you might wanna change your selection
Posted from France
eh excuse me ahmad, relax a minute there, a simple mistake as i hadnt heard the news when i posted. like to hear what your team would be.
Posted from Ireland
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Posted from Romania
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