Clinical match in a nutshell Portugal sneezes at the Czechs.
After giving Spain a scare on Matchday 2,
Coach Fernando Santos of Portugal: “It is critical to never give up. The outcome is more than just. With a terrific start and possession, we controlled the game for the opening 20 minutes, but we were not very fruitful. However, we maintained control of the game and did not allow the Czech Republic to mount any counterattacks. We scored two goals but had the opportunity to score two more.”
the visitors showed patience and poise early on, soaking up pressure and coming closest when Jan Kuchta’s effort was palmed behind by Diogo Costa.
Bernardo Silva’s creativity on the right wing was crucial for Portugal,
setting up Manchester City teammate Joo Cancelo for the opener and then identifying the run of Gonçalo Guedes, who curled a lovely finish past Jindich Stank from a tight angle five minutes later.
Jaroslav ilhav made three substitutions at halftime, partly to shore up his left-hand side. Václav Jureka could only strike wide in abundant space inside the penalty area when the Czechs broke quickly from a corner,
leaving the retracing home defence in a state of collective relief.
Portugal recovered control almost immediately, Diogo Jota’s long-range shot stinging Stank’s palms.
The 2019 UEFA Nations League champions dominated possession and cruised through the second half,
though Czech debutant Adam Vlkanova had a chance to cut the lead in half with two minutes remaining but failed to take advantage of a clear sight of goal.
Carlos Machado, match reporter Portugal demonstrated their superiority and appear to be in a fight for supremacy in Group A2 with Spain. The difference was made by the quality of their players all over the field, and the hosts also showed the patience that Fernando Santos need in order to defeat a determined and competitive Czech Republic side.
Watch the incredible two goals of Portugal now!
Coach Jaroslav Ilhav (Czech Republic): “We didn’t perform as well as we did against Spain, when we were more cautious in our defence. We committed two tactical errors and conceded two goals as a result. We improved in the second half and created opportunities; it’s a shame we didn’t score because it would have made the game more exciting.”
Michal Sadlek, midfielder for the Czech Republic: “Everyone could see that Portugal was the superior team. But we had chances; I had a good one in the first half, and things could have turned out differently. I didn’t hit the ball as well as I could have. We let up two easy goals on the left, but the defence improved in the second half.”
Czech Republic defender Jakub Brabec: “It was a challenge to defend against Ronaldo, but he was surrounded by some of the best players in the world. We were more on the ball tonight than we were against Spain, which is a bit of a conundrum.”
Figures of importance
Portugal has won the Czech Republic’s last three matches.
The Seleço has won ten of their last 15 UEFA Nations League games, losing only one.
Six of their last seven home games have resulted in victories.
Fernando Santos led Portugal to victory in his 100th match in charge.
On the third anniversary of his match-winning goal in the UEFA Nations League final against the Netherlands, Gonçalo Guedes scored.
Czech Republic has only lost two of their last nine games, winning four of them.