Portugal 6-1 Poland
It’s interesting how much things have changed. A year ago today, the Portugal Under-21 team needed a win against Poland for any hope of qualification to the 2013 UEFA U-21 Euro. All the team could muster was a 0-0 stalemate. Earlier today, however, the Portugal Under-21 team rolled past Poland by a score of 6-1. Goals from Andre Gomes, Betinho, Ricardo, Rafa, Lucas Joao, and Ricardo Esgaio cemented the victory for the hugely impressive U-21 side. In the team’s past three games, they have scored an incredible 16 goals, while only conceding four.
The game started brightly, and it became apparent that the traffic of the match was to be one-way, with Portugal out-classing their opponents from the start. The first goal duly arrived on the 18th minute. Good wing play set up Tiago Silva, who cut the ball back across the face of goal. Andre Gomes was there to apply the finish, which he slotted coolly past the Polish goalkeeper. The team didn’t have to wait very long to extend their lead. A simple square ball from Ivan Cavaleiro set up Ricardo perfectly, and the Porto winger made no mistake. That was the last of the scoring for the first half, and Portugal went into the locker room with a 2-0 advantage.
The second half proved to be a much more lively affair. Soon after the restart, Tiago Silva was judged to have been brought down unfairly. Ricardo Esgaio coolly converted the ensuing penalty, further adding to Portugal’s score. Poland did manage to pull one back twenty minutes later, after a towering header found its way into the back of the Portuguese net. The Seleccao responded soon after with three goals in five minutes to put the game completely beyond doubt. Betinho was the first to score, after he hit in the rebound from a Lucas Joao shot which cannoned off of the crossbar. Next, Sergio Oliveira put in a corner kick, which was cleared by a Polish defender. The right foot of Rafa met the ball on the edge of the box, and the ball was smashed into the top right-hand corner of the goal. Lucas Joao completed the rout just minutes later, heading in a Betinho cross. The final score was 6-1, an impressive victory from the impressive Portugal team. Elton Monteiro also debuted for the team in this match.
Daniel Fernandes(Luis Ribeiro), Ricardo Esgaio(Joao Amorim), Elton Monteiro(William Carvalho), Paulo Oliveira(Josue), Luis Martins(Daniel Martins), Tiago Silva(Tiago Ferreira), Joao Mario(Toze), Luis Gustavo(Rafa), Andre Gomes(Sergio Oliveira), Ricardo(Betinho), Ivan Cavaleiro(Lucas Joao)