U21s One Step Closer to Qualification

Ricardo Esgaio - Portugal U21 - with Luis Martins and Ricardo

Portugal 2-0 Macedonia

2015 UEFA U-21 Euro Qualification

The Portuguese Under-21 team took another step toward direct qualification to the 2015 UEFA U-21 European Championship today with a 2-0 win over Macedonia. The Portuguese can be rightly proud of how they played, having dominated the majority of the match. U-21 coach Rui Jorge took the opportunity to award four players with their first U-21 caps, with Ruben Vezo, Marcos Lopes, Carlos Mane, and Goncalo Paciencia all earning well-deserved debuts.

Rui Jorge named a strong starting eleven, with Ricardo Esgaio and Luis Martins operating on the flanks in defense, on the right and left, respectively. Paulo Oliveira, an established starter both for his club, Vitoria Guimaraes, and the U-21s, started in central defense alongside Ruben Vezo, who recently scored the winning goal in Valencia’s victory over Granada. Rui Jorge opted to play Rio Ave’s Luis Gustavo as an anchorman in midfield, with Andre Gomes and Joao Mario joining him in central midfield. On the wings were Carlos Mane, who has established himself as a starter for Sporting this season, and Bernardo Silva, who has enjoyed a wonderful season for Benfica B. Goncalo Paciencia earned a starting spot as the team’s striker.

Goals from Bernardo Silva and Ricardo Esgaio sealed the win for the Seleccao.

Jose Sa, Ruben Vezo, Paulo Oliveira, Luis Martins, Ricardo Esgaio, Luis Gustavo, Andre Gomes(Sergio Oliveira), Joao Mario, Bernardo Silva(Marcos Lopes), Carlos Mane(Ricardo), Goncalo Paciencia


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