Portugal outclassed Luxembourg at the Estadio Algarve last night in the European Championship Qualifiers by 9-0 to record the country’s biggest ever win, with talisman Cristiano Ronaldo missing the game through suspension.
Much of the talk ahead of kick off was around Cristiano Ronaldo, who picked up a yellow card in Portugal’s previous game against Slovakia, in turn ruling him out of the encounter. The talks prior to the kick off were centered on the Portuguese team’s inability to provide much attacking threat without their marksman who has over 200 internationals caps and 120 goals under his belt.
Portugal went into the game against Luxembourg with a 100%win record in the EURO Qualifiers; the Portuguese are yet to drop points at the ongoing qualifiers and keep that run going with yet another emphatic victory in Estadio Algarve.
Gonçalo Inácio put the Selaçao das Quinas in the ascendancy after 12 minutes; he steered home a ‘trivela’(outside of the foot). Bruno Fernandes crossed from the right hand side, that being the beginning of what was yet to unfold. Gonçalo Ramos added a second one six minutes later with a quick turn inside the box to glide Bernado Silvia’s pass into the net. Ramos was on hand again in the 33rd minute with another sharp half turn but this time from a Rafael Leao assist. He struck the ball with his weaker left foot past Luxembourg Goalkeeper. Antony Moris could not deny him as the fourth was not far off with Bruno Fernandes and Gonçalo Inácio combining once again down the right hand side to put Portugal four up during the break.
The game was gone before the commencement of the second half; Fernandes picked off where he left off, this time around teeing up Liverpool’s Diogo Jota in the 57th minute with a lovely lofted ball over the back line into the feet of Jota, who raced through a goal with a well timed finish to deepen the wounds of Luxembourg. The sixth came 10 minutes later with Jota setting up Ricardo Horta to finish off a lovely team move.
Jota got his brace in the 77th minute with an unmarked Jota slotting a ball in the back of the net, seven minutes from time. Bruno Fernandes was duly rewarded with his goal. The Manchester United midfielder was slipped in on goal by Ricardo Horta and capped off a splendid night with a well deserved goal to add on to his 3 assists on the night.
Meanwhile, new Barcelona loanee, Joao Felix came off the bench to seal a resounding Portuguese victory with the 9th and final goal of the night on the cusp of full time.
The win further cements Portugal’s spot in next years European championships as well as maintaining their impressive run of form under new boss Roberto Martinez with 6 wins from 6,6 cleansheets and 24 goals scored.
Story by : Andrews Sefa Bamfo | universnews.ug.edu.gh