Portugal – 1 v Czech Republic – 0 Hello Semi’s!
A tough and gritty performance all around has granted Portugal a semi final berth. Nothing came easy against the Czech Republic as they were happy to sit back and counter when they could. They were very organized at the back always seemingly in the right position to clear their line or block a shot. Our players stayed focused and didn’t lose confidence in Bento’s strategy which was key.
Czech definitely held their own in the first half. Our passing was well off and we didn’t show the necessary cohesion to keep long spells of possession. The Czech’s got the ball into dangerous positions, but Bruno or Pepe were there once again to bail us out. You could tell we were going to take control of the game however as we showed flashes of brilliance. Great build up play led to two good chances for Ronaldo. One he was called for a bogus foul after being put through by Moutinho, and another he rang off the post. The second half was a completely different story. We came out and completely put the Czech’s in a choke hold as they could do nothing but clear their line or give the ball right back to us. Pepe and Bruno are so efficient at covering space that it really helps us when we can push our back line up the field to really put an insurmountable amount of pressure on our opponent. Chance after chance came for Portugal and it was just a matter of time before we found the break through. As the Czech Republic wore down more space was available around the box for Nani and Ronaldo to cut inside once Coentrao and Pereira took over the flanks. At last Nani smartly played through Moutinho in down the right and he hit a beautiful cross. Ronaldo made a smart run around their right back and dove to get his head on the end of it to drive into the ground past Petr Cech. After that Portugal smartly kept possession of the ball and still allowed the Czech’s no room to breathe. Portugal move on to the semi’s with a classy 1-0 victory.
Patricio- 6/10: Had one easy night. Zero, that’s right zero saves. Thanks defense!
Pereira- 7/10: Great game again. Was beaten maybe once the whole 90 minutes and got forward at will. He will need to get some rest and be sharp as he gears up for Iniesta next.
Alves- 8/10: One of his best games. Tough in the air, was in the right place at the right time, pretty good passing, exactly what we are looking for from Bruno.
Pepe- 8.5/10: Made some huge plays in the first half. Clearing crosses left and right, and rarely allowed Baros to hold up play. I have complete confidence in Pepe to have another fantastic showing against Spain. We’ll need it.
Coentrao- 7/10: He looks to be syncing up with Ronaldo better and better as this tournament moves on. With his darting runs it is just a matter of time before he gets his first goal for Portugal. He may be the best full back on the counter left in this tournament.
Veloso- 8/10: Awesome game from Miguel. He had more license to go forward and he showed how dangerous he can be in the attacking third. His long diagonal balls were extremely effective tonight. Has to be in the best form of his career right now.
Moutinho- 9/10: I absolutely love the way Joao plays. Covers the most distance in the match hands down, tackles to perfection, and did I mention win balls in the air even though he’s the shortest? His vision is improving from game to game, and that cross was impeccable to find Ronaldo.
Meireles- 7/10: Best game yet from Raul. His passing on the break was much better tonight, and he found more space around the box than in the prior games. If he can raise his offensive game even just a little bit, it could be the difference. His finishing still has to get better however.
Nani- 6.5/10: Not his most effective game of the tournament but he was still a threat like always. Nani definitely flourishes in the counter attacking style when we get out and run. Obviously this wasn’t that type of game, but he still played a big part in the build up to the goal and if not for an amazing block he would have gotten his first goal.
Postiga- 5/10: Really feel bad for Helder. He really has played his heart out all tournament and now he will miss the semi final against Spain. He scored two in the friendly win against them last year, so he will be missed.
Ronaldo- 9/10: A captain’s performance. Showed that he will give it his all and show up in big occasions. His header was world class, and I know Ronaldo has full confidence in this team. If he just plays his game against Spain and involves those around him, he can have another monumental night.
Almeida- 6.5/10: We really did look more dangerous in the attacking third once Hugo came on. He is such an aerial threat, the center backs both feel the need to keep an eye on them which makes the opponents defense more compact. Therefore opening space up on the wing for our stars. I expect Hugo to get the nod against Spain, fingers crossed he doesn’t fuck up.
Custodio- 6/10: Looks like a solid sub to keep a lead. Won’t provide much going forward, but there aren’t many more dependable than Custodio.
Rolando- 5/10: Assured the the result, only got a few minutes.
So our opponent will be Spain. They said we couldn’t qualify. They said we couldn’t get past the group stage, and now they will say we can’t beat the reigning world champs. Well we’ve gotten this far and it’s just 90 minutes of football between us and the European Championship. The Spaniards won’t scare us. Bento proved he has a recipe to beat Spain with our 4-0 friendly win, but honestly that result means little. Las Rojas completely dominated France today. And I mean dominated. The French played right into their hands with a very defensive line up, leaving Ribery and Benzema completely isolated up top and unable to accomplish anything. Their possession was laughable, and Spain lulled them to sleep before getting one chance and capitalizing. Portugal need to be balanced. If we sit back like we did against Germany, I feel Spain will ultimately conquer. If we are able to command some possession in the first half, we can get Spain on their heels just a bit. We have to play cautiously, but not too cautiously. Ronaldo and Nani need to get distribution and help on the counter attack. We are the most dangerous on the counter, and we will need to be once again. Pepe and Bruno have to stay organized and cool at the back like they have all tourney. The midfield just has to do their thing and we will be fine. I know for a fact we can beat Spain and the way we are playing, the players and coaches certainly believe it as well. It’s a tall task for sure, but WE BELIEVE! FORCA PORTUGAL!!!!
Spain were NOTHING!!!! they only looked dangerous in the last 10 minutes of the game after all our players were officially drained from any glimpse of energy. Let’s not give them more credit than they deserve, we could have won it even on penalties, but lady luck never looked on our side to be honest! Cesc’s shot hits the post, goes in. Alves hits the post as well, goes out. I am gutted not because of me, because I know how players like Ronaldo, Moutinho, Pepe gave it their all today and still didn’t get the credit they deserve!!! This tournament deserved a team like Portugal in the final, we demanded respect from all the teams and WE GOT IT.
This tournament proved one thing….. Portugal have everything they need to win a tournament, even mentality and everything else… yet the only lack a striker. Almeida, Postiga, Oliviera were nothing the entire tournament and I’m not being harsh at all. Time for the first two to give opportunities for other Portuguese strikers to try their luck at this position, and from now on Oliviera needs to think really hard on how he needs to progress as a decent if not world class striker. This is the missing link and with someone emerging soon to fill this gap we’ll be more than capable of beating anyone and I say that with extreme confidence.
btw If you don’t believe me take a look at how Almeida took three shoots from his position. regardless of where it was, as soon as someone gave him a pass … zero decision making, and zero effect on goal. Almeida then retracted back to defend and it paid a bit yet ALMEIDA THAT IS NOT YOUR JOB IN THE FIRST PLACE.
To be fair, Ahamad, Almeida was only tracking back because Ronaldo either refused or was not told to do it. He was helping out Coentrao who needed help dealing with he 43 billion Spanish defenders.
I meant Spanish midfielders.
@Miggy I know and I mentioned that… Almeida was clearly not in form to attack and he was instructed to stick to defending and leave to Ronaldo… this left Ronaldo almost entirely isolated on the left flank and Coentrao in the end was too tired to help him in attack and it was obvious.
My point is that Almeida shouldn’t put himself in this situation in the first place!! he got many chances in which he inexplicably wasted either by shooting randomly or doing a seriously wrong pass. He was the easiest player to defend against, and Perreira was a better attacker than Almeida. I’m not being harsh but this match proved to me that there is no way Portugal is going to ever win anything with these set of strikers. We need a new Pauleta or Nuno Gomes, not someone world class, just someone who knows how to take good decisions and someone with just a little bit of skills. Oliviera can be this person but what if he doesn’t? then we’re in the same cycle all over again. I just fear Ronaldo will lose form in world cup 2014, he’ll be 29 and maybe a little demotivated but my knowledge about Ronaldo ensures that he is already thinking about it from now… Let’s qualify first
Balloteli shows Ronaldo how to perform in a big match. :\
Posted from Netherlands
Like I previously said, Wilson Eduardo could be a good striker for Portugal. He has quite decent stats for the U21s.
Betinho, from Sporting’s youth system, has also performed fantastically (he’ll turn 19 this June), but most of the players that perform well up until their 19th year of life get lost afterwards, that’s the problem. And even if he does survive that horrible transition period, there’s absolutely no telling he’ll be ready physically for the NT. Well, he can’t shoot worse than the guys we have in the senior team, that’s for sure
About Nélson Oliveira, he hasn’t played much this season, so it’s doubtful… his development since the U20 WC has been quite underwhelming. Who knows, but as of now I’m not putting much hope in him.
On another note, the U19s will be playing in the European Championship this summer, from 3 to 15 July. Portugal will play starting from 3rd July against the host team, Estonia. They play Spain and Greece next. Betinho is on the team as well. Let’s see what they do there, but let’s not put too much hope in them just yet.
@Joao plz don’t mention Balotelli and Ronaldo in the same sentence even… Ronaldo gave his all to this team and you know it. Respect him a bit.
just to prove a bit of a point … go to this link and search Almeida and check his ranking. Castrol aren’t that credible but they are known of being very statistical with every player that goes on the pitch. See how Almeida ranks with respect to other teammates and how he ranks with respect to other forwards.
same goes for Postiga btw… wont talk about Nelson though. Too young to be criticized.
still extremely gutted… Spain defeated us on two occasions in the past 2 years … once by an offside call and the second by stupid penalty kicks :@
but here are my humble conclusions concerning the NT:
1) We are good, we are actually pretty damn good, as a team and as individual talents. Many people only look at Ronaldo, but they forget how blessed we are to have talents and experts in almost every other position (how u doin Almeida?)
2) We WILL be stronger as a team and players in Brazil 2014. I am not a prediction Guru and God knows I have failed multiple times at that but one thing is certain is that the mentality of winning has grown into our players heads. Seeing Coentrao cry after the Germany and Spain game proved that to me. This will help us play much much better in the upcoming qualifications and I predict most to end with easy wins. The agony of barely qualifying to a major tournament should end now.
3) Bento is a great Portuguese coach in the making. Not there yet but closer than what most might think. Loved how close he is to the players. Maybe even more the how Scolari was to our players back at the time.
4) Portugal will always know how to play its heart out but we will NEVER win any major tournament without finding a genuine striker. We already talked a lot about this issue and it’s now Bento’s time to tackle it and find that player.
5) The myths about Ronaldo’s inability to shine with the country are now completely over. At least to me. Links up perfectly with the players, plays well, scores and offers multiple chances to score for his teammates but he was unlucky to get at least 3 assist under his sleeve in this tournament. He played well versus Spain, I don’t see why many say he didn’t (maybe because he wasn’t on the score sheet? well so did nobody else for that matter). Will he get the Ballon D’or? I think no since Fifa loves to pamper the little Argentine flee and they’ll be damned if they give the award to someone else.
6) If justice is to be served, we should expect many of our Portuguese gems to transfer to bigger clubs and play on higher levels than before which of course will help us greatly as a NT. I am talking about Moutinho with a possible move to Man Utd, or Veloso to the same club (just rumors, nothing assured). Perreira is already a Valencia player now. All these transfers will create a group of players that thrive on winning (something we all want)
7)There is no such thing as a top team that can’t be beaten. Before the tournament started everyone feared Germany and Spain but Portugal and Italy proved that both are vulnerable when you plan your attacks well. We should keep that in mind when WC2014 in Brazil kick offs.
OMG, I can’t believe how the Spain fans are spoiled
Ahmad, I’ll write my view soon too.
looking forward to it Ivan
Ahmad, what I’m saying is nothing new, I’m really repeating myself more than anything
As we know, it’s the year 2012, and Portugal still hasn’t solved its striker’s problem. And Spain is dominating world football almost completely.
With Spain winning 4-0 in the final against Italy, it really makes me all the more gutted to see Portugal eliminated against them in the penalty shoot-out. They have made history once more (third major title in a row, something which only West Germany came very close to do in the 1970s, with wins in 1972, 1974, and a loss in the penalty-shoot in the 1976 final, first actual competitive win over Italy since 1920, where they only won in the Olympic Games anyway), yet they were inches to be eliminated by us. I can only dream of all the difference that would make a cool finish in those 120 minutes (that counter-attack with 3 against 2, if I’m not mistaken…), but yeah, it’s sad to think that this is just a dream. Portugal showed fantastic resilience throughout the tournament (for the first time we don’t concede a single goal in the knockout matches) and managed to be the only team to not concede goals against Spain, but the eternal problem remains. If Euro 2012 showed anything, it’s that there’s really NOTHING lacking in the team beside that. That, and the lead-up friendlies teach absolutely nothing about the performance of a team in the tournament (Italy and Russia are two other great examples). Portugal looks to be literally the only team to face Spain in a crucial stage without falling apart in one way or another, like Spain’s 1-0 offside win in 2010 and the penalties in 2012 showed.
Portugal did look extremely shaky after those pre-Euro 2012 set backs, but we all know how much better the tournament was. Portugal regained respect around the world, but unfortunately, that’s it. The killer instinct that characterizes an eventual champion was still frustratingly away, and this will continue to plague the team at this rate. This is all the more frustrating knowing that Portugal, while maybe not the best side on paper even AFTER Spain, is the only one that gets the tactics right against them at a crucial stage (may I also remind that Spain hasn’t scored a SINGLE LEGAL GOAL in the last 4 matches against Portugal!). It’s so sad to see all this hard work undone by incompetent finishing.
This is something that needs to be fixed urgently, and I mean it. We can’t keep relying on Postigas, Almeidas and Varelas, because no matter how well they may perform against mid-tier/high-tier opponents and take Portugal far, they’ll ALWAYS choke against the top favourites, at least when it matters the most. And even if such a striker is found and integrated into the team (Wilson Eduardo, Betinho?), there are lots of things that may very well make Portugal perform worse in 2014 (assuming they qualify, but… it’s a given that it’ll happen in the end… right?), like the players aging, retiring, transferring into a worse club and/or league, the players not playing as well, Paulo Bento not managing to recreate the atmosphere in the team he had in a previous tournament (like Bert van Marwijk did it in 2010, but failed miserably in 2012), etc.
Let’s take a look at how old our full squad from Euro 2012 would be in 2014 (I’m counting only the ones that’ll be 30 or higher):
- Eduardo will be 31, almost 32. This should not be a big problem, as goalkeepers can usually play for longer than the regular field players, and he’s a second choice keeper anyway (Rui Patrício should have his position secured for at least a decade. Not good when you want to improve, but he hasn’t disappointed. Maybe Mika will give competition to him). I’m only concerned about Eduardo’s playing time.
- Pepe will be 31. This was probably his last tournament at his prime, unfortunately he’s not very likely to perform as well in 2014 (he was just rock-solid in this Euro). I can see him still being an important asset in the defense from two years on, however.
- Bruno Alves will be 32. I don’t like him too much, as he’s too much of a guy who just cuts off the opponents’ attacks short, and almost always with a foul. I hope an alternative is found for him from the U21s.
- Ricardo Costa will be 33. You know, he’s not all that bad, actually, as his actual club seasons in Spain showed. But yeah, younger blood should be in his place.
- Carlos Martins will be 32. I haven’t heard much of him, and frankly, he doesn’t seem to be very good.
- Custódio will be 31. He’s been an important member in Braga’s midfield. I would like to at least see André Martins, Josué and Sana from the U21s compete for his spot.
- Raul Meireles will be 31. He was good at passing in this EC, but was absolutely useless when he tried to shoot. He just can’t find his form in long-range shots. Maybe the above guys from the U21s, and some others, like Diogo Rosado and David Simão will be integrated into the NT.
- Hélder Postiga will be 31, almost 32. I can only HOPE he’s going to be a second-choice striker for guys like Wilson Eduardo and Betinho. I can dream…
- RIcardo Quaresma will be 30, almost 31. Let’s give him a chance, maybe…? Nah, who I’m kidding
- Hugo Almeida will be just 30 around the tournament. Once again, I dream he’s going to stay in the shadows of (a) PROVEN superior striker(s).
There’s also the recent move in the Portuguese football, which effects I’m not sure of: loans between clubs of the same division will be forbidden. There are also going to be B teams in Portugal’s Second League, which maybe will help portuguese players develop.
Plus, less foreigners in the Portuguese League would help the local youngsters to progress. It makes it all the more amazing that quality portuguese players keep appearing. This is due to the fact that Portugal produces arguably the best coaches in the world. The dutch simply aren’t that smart at tactics, and the spanish ones benefit from the fact that their system is working due to the fantastic environment that football got in the country, which is key for success at international level.
Getting back at the point, until guys like Wilson Eduardo and Betinho fulfill their promises in the NT, I won’t have hopes of winning a major tournament (especially a WC, which, like it ot not, IS more difficult to win for small teams like Portugal, than an EC), no matter how good (or bad, for that matter) Portugal plays before and during the tournament and how Portugal puts away mid-tier teams at the beginning of a tournament, ever. Our current “strikers” WILL ultimately fail when it matters the most. Until then, I’m not getting my hopes that up and not jumping on the bandwagon of excitement that usually builds up as Portugal progresses successfully through the tournament. I’ll make sure I don’t get fooled again.
TL;DR: Wake me up for the “about the win a major tournament” bandwagon when Portugal finds a decent striker AND the team spirit and quality of the side is same or better than in 2012.
A final wish: Please, Portugal, win the qualifying group, AND do bad friendlies right before the tournament. That way we’ll look even more respectable, AND we can assume that Paulo Bento will keep the team in check for Brazil 2014. Make it happen.
I forgot to say two things:
- On another thought, maybe Portugal shouldn’t do bad friends before WC 2014 if they can do it well. What I mean is that the team must be focused and fit for the tournament, regardless of the pre-tournament results. I should also stop using sentences such as “assuming we get there”. We WILL get there, silly me!
- Euro 2012 was Ronaldo’s best tournament yet in terms of goals, but that’s not saying much, considering that he had done 2 goals in his previous best showing (Euro 2004). We really needed at least Ronaldo to step up as a striker against Spain, and he missed the chances he had (again, that counter-attack in the spanish box…). He probably should also have been the one to take the first penalty against Spain. João Moutinho, who missed it, was known in Sporting for missing these kicks… sounds familiar?
In hindsight I wonder if we truly upsetted Spain, just compare the Spain in the final with that of the rest of the tournament (including the match against Portugal) In the entire tournament Spain played at 70%, they barely got past Croatia, Italy and Portugal.
Yet the Spain in the final, who played at full strength, easily put aside the Italy team like they were nothing. :\
As for the future the key aspect is that we keep changing the team (Spain did this, Jordi Alba coming in for Capdevilla, Bento in comparison would still play with Capdevilla), sadly with Bento being loyal with the players I doubt this will happen.
Posted from Netherlands
Capdevilla had his worst season,unlike Jordi Alba who now is barca player!to think that everybody in here crying for Ricardo carvalho who for long time was/is out of RM team …..
PB is a good coach but he made a mistake for insisting on his order for penalty shootout( in Nani and Alvez case) which damage Alvez confidence!
under LPS, Portugal had great record in penalty shootout and CR7 was the last taker. this time the first taker(JM) wasn’t a great choice!
@Ivan I agree with you…. Portugal can never win anything this way and with this set of players. I’m sure they won’t all stay with the team for WC2014 which I can almost assure you we’ll qualify to. Players such as Patricio, Nani, Ronaldo, Coentrao, pepe, perreira, moutinho and veloso are bound to stay with the team as starters and to me that’s perfect. The striker we are all waiting for will eventually come but I do hope it is somewhere next season because it is a shame to see this great generation of player get wasted for missing the final peace of the puzzle. Had portugal had a decent striker in this tournament we surely would have beaten spain. They barely had to make little pressure on Almeida for him to recklessly lose the ball, a good striker would do much more to keep the ball in possession.
Ronaldo at 29 will still be as deadly as now, many people fear he’ll drop form but I won’t cause he is simply the most complete athlete in football history and I mean it without exaggeration. Nani will be at 27 which is the peak age of any player so imagine how good they’ll be in Brazil. All we need is that striker and we’re set.
We need to be realistic. Germany thought they had the best team out there and in the end they were humbled by Italy who were destroyed by Spain. Our squad is actually better than Germany’s and their 1-0 victory proved little of their superiority on us. The players and fans were over confident that’s why they choked in the semis. In portugal’s case we thought we were going to beat Spain based on spirit, a spirit we showed greatly in our previous two game but who are we kidding??? You can’t beat Spain like that, it’s illogical. Bento should assume the worst case scenarios, that in WC2014 Portugal will have to face Spain, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Holland in the space of a few weeks… we need clinical finishing (good striker) and depth, lots and lots of depth. Our starters are great but the same cannot be said of the subs. I hope the talents emerge now and start developing hard in the next 2 years so we can finally see a portuguese team that can finally win something for its nation.
****************WARNING: ANOTHER WALL OF TEXT****************
Ahmad, I read what you said. There’s nothing really to add. We have exhausted this subject as much as we could. Let’s get in with some actual substance, shall we?
I have completely forgotten about Rui Fonte, thinking he was another talent lost, but he has actually been playing very well for the U21s (he’s currently the team’s leading goalscorer for the next U21 European Championship’s qualifying), so maybe Paulo Bento will call him up later. As much as Paulo Bento likes to play the same team over and over again, I think he may eventually use him, which would be great for the NT. I don’t think Betinho would be ready for Brazil 2014 (he’ll only be just shy of 21 years), but if he progresses well enough, we may see him in 2016 (which would be difficult NOT to qualify, seeing as it’ll be composed by 24 teams).
There’s also another candidate that Rui Fonte usually plays with in the U21 matches, Salvador Agra. He’s good as well, but probably a bit less impressive.
Wilson Eduardo is good as well, but let’s wait until later to see if he gets a good club (he can’t play on Olhanense forever and expect to be top class at the highest international level).
All these hopes have a good shot at qualifying for the next U21 European Championship, let’s see how the campaign ends.This is the current situation of Portugal’s group . Unfortunately, Russia should have no problems dealing with Moldova at home, so they’ll most likely finish first. But Portugal has got everything to finish as one of 4 best 2nd placed teams to qualify for the play-offs.
It’s good to see candidates for the forward spot coming up already. I just don’t want for these gems to be stuck at low-level clubs with little to no playing time, or else they’ll end up like Hugo Almeida and Hélder Postiga (which, BTW, were also promising for the youth teams).
I see raw talent for the team for at least another decade, so I think Portugal will remain at the top spots of European football for at least some more years. This is all not counting all the future completely unknown talent that’s blooming in Portugal, even with everything that the portuguese players have to struggle in their own league, unlike the spanish, who have a relatively big population, a vast territory, policies that protect and encourage the spanish players’ development, a very clear game style, very good coaching, the two strongest clubs in the world and lots of money to keep their players in their own country, to speak the same language and identify easily with the teammates. This is why they’re dominating the sport.
Nevertheless, Portugal still looks to be able to remain in good shape for 2014 (here we go to the start of another 2-year cicle. Managing team and everyone else involved in the sport in Portugal, let’s make the wait worth it, and you know what I REALLY mean!). The fact that both the last times the team was eliminated against the eventual champions, the true monster of world football, Spain, and both the times very narrowly, should be enough of a reason to keep some optimism.
Shall we focus our attentions on the U19 European Championship for now? They play Estonia, the hosts, first, and then Spain and Greece.
Of course we must keep an eye on the U19 championship… I don’t care much if we win it, I just want to see talents and future prospects, lots and lots of that. I agree with your words Ivan. Spain are above anything else lucky. Yes they are well organized and properly coached but luck plays a big role in the issue. Their players just happened to exist in the same generation. This thing alone helped them drastically and with 7 from one team (Barca) that meant that Spain didn’t need much time for its players to get used to each other. The chemistry came directly from the Catalans. Imagine if the great players of the last decade all played together at the same time, well that happened in 2004 but at that time Ronaldo was a kid and Nani didn’t show up yet and we didn’t have a monster like Pepe on CB.
We need to be patient, we are better off thinking about the upcoming Euro than the World cup; two years is barely enough to do anything. But I wonder how the Portuguese team will be greeted when they Play in Brazil 2 years later, some say they will feel just like home. Maybe something good for us no?
westham have a striker named Vaz Te, reports say that he has been amazing so far. Dind’t watch a full game of him but I did catch up some of his mouth watering goals on youtube. He’ll be back with his team to the Premier league next season so he is bound to attract a few viewers. He is a better prospect than the other youngsters since he already is playing in a top league unlike the others. I hate westham but I am praying he plays very well. Again, we must be patient.
Veloso to Ac Milan??? Moutinho to Man United?? If these rumors are true then we are going into the right direction guys
Congrats to Portugal on securing a 3-0 victory in the U19 Euro championship… watched the second half and they seemed, well, young… but lots of talents to look up to. Didn’t memorize any names but whoever replaced Betinho in the second half plays in very much the same way that Nani does.
Let’s see how they perform in the next two games were it really matters.
Posted from France
Well, the first half was much better. I thought it was a win that just showed the difference between Portugal and Estonia at this level. This win is not much, given how poor the estonians are, even if they were playing at home. I thought the defense and midfield made a bit too many mistakes for my liking.
The next two games are the ones that show Portugal’s true strength.
Even with all its dominance Portugal didn’t create many, or hardly, any clear cut chances. Seems the youth are suffering from the “I have no idea what to do in the final third” thing like with their senior counterparts.
Lovely freekick goal though.
Posted from Netherlands
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