Portugal were the dominant team from the start and had a lot more possession than the hosts, especially in the first half. However, guests can only get their first big chance with a standard. Bruno Fernandez hit a free kick quickly in the midfield and sent Andre Silva into the penalty area, but Gavin Pazono failed from a narrow angle (14). Just three minutes later, the Portuguese was supposed to take the lead when Goncalo Guedes managed to beat the right flank in the penalty area with a heel kick and hit Cristiano Ronaldo, whose shot was blocked by Simos Coleman in the last second (17). .
The Irish woke up from this, because the owners of the land improved and slowly rose to opportunity. Callum Robinson was played on the left wing and making room with a hook. A cross pass turned into a shot on goal that was saved by Rui Patricio to the side (27th place). Shortly before the break, the Boys in Green had another double chance to take the lead. First the ball came to Jeff Hendrik in the penalty area but he was prevented from completing it at the last second. Shortly thereafter, Robinson crossed from the left on the short post, where Chiedozie Ogbene managed to overpower him and head it from five meters (44).
Fernandes’ slip nearly gave the hosts the lead shortly after the break as the Portuguese midfielder slipped into his own penalty area and brought Ogbeni into play. Then the Irishman Josh Colin passed, but Patricio hit the shot from the left corner (53.). As a result, the match was settled and there were only a few highlights. Silva, for example, triumphed on the right wing in the 67th minute and crossed Ronaldo, who was able to win in the penalty area, but his header bypassed the left.
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At the final stage, things returned to a tense state again. First, Ronaldo triumphed on the left in front of the penalty area and dribbled to a good final position. The Portuguese captain sent the ball to the far corner, but he just missed (79).
A little later, the veteran Pepe received an unnecessary red yellow card for accidentally hitting Robinson in the face in a duel alone at 16th (82nd place). In the majority, the Irish got back into the game and scored the presumed winner. Substitute Will Kane held Patricio so badly before Matt Doherty’s header that the hit went unrecognized (90 + 4).
Callum Robinson (Ireland): “I thought we played a great match. Portugal are strong opponents with big names, of course Cristiano Ronaldo, but also Bruno Fernandes or they brought Joao Felix off the bench. […] If we had used one or the other opportunity better, we would have won, but it shows once again how far we have evolved. […] It won’t be easy, but we showed today that we can keep up with the best.”
Fernando Santos (Portugal coach): “In the end, a result we did not expect. It is a very positive result because my team knows that Serbia has to play and win at our stadium at the end of the week. […] Of course we wanted to win, not draw, but we had a lot of problems and were rarely in a position to be dangerous. It was very tough against a very aggressive and physically strong opponent.”
Tweet about the game
Caught in the eye: Pepes Rot almost pulled Portugal’s teeth
An unnecessary yellow and red card from Pepe could have had dire consequences for Portugal. The Irishman, who had long been exhausted by this point, took a second breath after being fired and suddenly appeared again. In injury time there was almost a winning goal for the hosts, but this was not calculated due to a mistake.
Will Keane celebrated his first international match today and almost secured victory. He put the ball in front of the winger’s missed goal, but the referee punished his push against Rui Patricio as a foul.
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