(EFE) – Portugal won this Wednesday thanks to an own goal from Azerbaijan, in a duel in which the Portuguese did not show their most creative football and Cristiano Ronaldo was very off, in tune with the rest of the team.
The first half concluded with a meager 1-0 in favor of Portugal, since, although Fernando Santos’ team dominated the ball, they could not arrive with clarity. The Portuguese starting eleven was surprising, without Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota and Joao Félix on the turf of Turin, a city that hosted the game with Portugal as a local team, since due to the pandemic it could not be played in Lisbon.
Azerbaijan defended in static with a line of six and in the last 25 meters the Portuguese were limited to hanging balls to look for the head of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was accompanied upstairs by the forward of Eintracht de Frankfurt André Silva, former player of Sevilla.
The first clear chance came in the 16th minute, when Cristiano served Granada center-back Domingos Duarte, who controlled his chest and planted himself in front of the goalkeeper, who closed the angle of the shot.
In the 21st, first center on the left of Sporting Nuno Mendes’ side, who made his debut with “las quinas”, which Ronaldo finished off with a head in the small area, but who went high.
The only danger for Portugal was to hang balls and in one of these, with everything in favor for the goalkeeper Magomedaliyev, he came out with false fists, the ball hit Medvedev’s chest and the carom allowed the 1-0 in the minute 36.
Thus the break was reached, with a lot of dominance and few ideas from Portugal to overcome the harmless Azerbaijan.
In the second half, Portugal came out with the same 4-4-2, with the entry of Manchester United player Bruno Fernandes by Joao Moutinho.
Five minutes into the second half, Azerbaijan had a chance to score from a free-kick that was easily headed in the Ghorbani box, although the ball went high.
The first dangerous chance for Portugal came in the 66th minute, after a break-in by André Silva that was saved by the visiting goalkeeper.
And in 70, an excellent triangulation of Azerbaijan from the center of the field that ended with a center on the right that Lopes cleared and whose rejection fell into the boots of Nuriev, who shot high.
Portugal was unable to show their best football, barely reaching the wings and to seek more depth, Santos brought Joao Félix in for Silva in the 74th minute. The Atlético player was the one who gave the most spark to the Portuguese offensive zone.
However, the scoreboard did not move any more, in a match with the Portuguese stars off, without intensity and in which Portugal won thanks to an own goal from modest Azerbaijan.