U-20s Edged Out on Penalties


Andre Moreira - Portugal vs Brazil - 2015 U20 World Cup

Portugal 0-0 Brazil (1-3 Penalties)

2015 U-20 World Cup Quarterfinal

In an entertaining encounter, the Portuguese Under-20 team was defeated on penalties by Brazil in the quarterfinal of the 2015 U-20 World Cup. The defeat sees Portugal exit the tournament, despite some excellent performances earlier in the tournament. Brazil was the most difficult opposition Portugal had faced in the tournament thus far, and if this match was anything to judge off of, Portugal could have progressed further.  Continue reading

Santos Adds Eleven for Cape Verde Friendly


Andre Andre has finally earned a call to the Seleção after a stellar season thus far for Vitória Guimarães. He is joined by eight other un-capped players.

Andre Andre has finally earned a call to the Seleção after a stellar season thus far for Vitória Guimarães. He is joined by eight other un-capped players.

As promised, Portugal National Team coach Fernando Santos named an additional eleven names for the team’s friendly against Cape Verde, to be played on March 31. Because Portugal faces Serbia on March 29 and then faces Cape Verde just two days later, there is not the FIFA-sanctioned three-day rest period between games. For this reason, those who take the field in the Serbia match will not in the Cape Verde match. Because of this, Santos has called up additional players for the Cape Verde match, and his listing is quite unexpected.  Continue reading

10-Man Portugal Decimated by Germany


photo courtesy maisfutebol.iol.pt

photo courtesy maisfutebol.iol.pt

Portugal 0-4 Germany

2014 FIFA World Cup

The Portuguese National Team had to suffer through very likely the worst start to a World Cup possible on Monday when they succumbed to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Germans. Portugal have much work to do to salvage anything out of this World Cup, and with a number of players out of contention for the next games, the Seleccao is facing the toughest task in recent memory.

The game started off brightly for both teams, with the contest largely even. This changed on the stroke of 10 minutes. Joao Pereira was wrestling Mario Gotze for the ball in the box, and a foul was called against Joao Pereira. The foul was justified, and Thomas Muller dispatched the spot kick, giving Germany an early 1-0 lead. The goal did not seem to take the wind out of Portugal’s sails, as the team continued to press, with Nani firing a shot narrowly over the German goal. But, alas, Germany proved too much for Portugal going forward. The Germans doubled their lead around the half-hour mark, with Mats Hummels heading in from a corner. And then, just minutes later an act of lunacy. Pepe held the ball in defense with Thomas Muller lurking. The German attempted to nick the ball from the Portuguese defender, only to go to ground from a presumed arm to the face. Apparently angry that Muller went to ground so easily, Pepe confronted the forward, who was sitting on the ground. Though there was slight contact, replays show that Pepe hit his head into Muller’s. It was an easy decision for the referee. Pepe was given a straight red, and Portugal were down to 10 men. And predictably from that point forward, it was one-way traffic in favor of the Germans. And it was Muller who struck again, smartly getting in front of Bruno Alves’ clearance to fire home and further pile on Portugal’s misery.

Bad things that happened in the first half:

  1. Hugo Almeida off injured
  2. Pepe red card
  3. Three goals scored against Portugal

Maybe the second half was better. Wrong.

Paulo Bento took a more conservative approach in the second half. At half-time, the boss took off Miguel Veloso and added Ricardo Costa to fill the void that Pepe left. Though this reduced Portugal’s attack, it greatly repaired Portugal’s defense, which had been exploited heavily by Germany in the first half to great effect. One can only expect but so much from a team playing with 10 men against one of the favorites to win the tournament. The Portuguese did try to get forward, and it was Nani who was at the heart of many of Portugal’s plays in the second half, but the team could not manage to score. It was Germany who managed to score once more. A mistake from Andre Almeida, who had been substituted in for the injured Fabio Coentrao and a fumble from Rui Patricio gifted Muller another goal. The game ended an embarrassing 4-0 against Portugal, and as has been the case lately, there are more questions than answers.

Bad things that happened in the second half:

  1. Fabio Coentrao injured
  2. 1 goal scored against Portugal

Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao(Andre Almeida), Raul Meireles, Miguel Veloso(Ricardo Costa), Joao Moutinho, Nani, Ronaldo, Hugo Almeida(Eder)

HIGHLIGHTS HERE


 

So, where does this leave Portugal? Essentially, Portugal MUST win their remaining two group stage matches against the USA and Ghana. The USA beat Ghana, so they will likely be eager to beat Portugal to automatically qualify before having to face Germany. Ghana will be licking their wounds, and will likely be gunning for a win against the Portuguese after their loss against the USA.

For the next game against the USA on Sunday, Portugal will be without Pepe (suspended), Fabio Coentrao, Hugo Almeida, and Rui Patricio (injured). The team that will likely face the USA should look something like this:

Eduardo, Joao Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Bruno Alves, Andre Almeida, William Carvalho/Miguel Veloso, Raul Meireles, Joao Moutinho, Nani, Ronaldo, Helder Postiga

Russia Edge Portugal


Russia 1-0 Portugal

A first half goal from Aleksandr Kerzhakov was enough for Russia to earn a narrow 1-0 victory over a sub-par Portuguese side. This win ensured that Russia remains undefeated in Group F, and as a result of the loss, Portugal slips into second in the group.

There was an air of uncertainty surrounding Portugal prior to the start of the match, due to the questionable fitness of Raul Meireles, Pepe, and Ronaldo. Pepe and Ronaldo were able to shake of their minor injuries to start the match, but Raul Meireles was not as lucky. The starting lineup was the usual one, with Patricio in goal, Joao Pereira and Fabio Coentrao on the defensive flanks, and Pepe and Bruno Alves paired up in the center of the defense. Due to his injury, Raul Meireles was relegated to the bench, with Ruben Micael sliding in to replace him. Miguel Veloso and Joao Moutinho joined Micael to complete the midfield. Up top was Nani, Ronaldo, and Helder Postiga, the usual suspects.

The game started well for Portugal, but very quickly turned sour when Russia scored on virtually their first attack. A quick counterattack caught Portugal off guard, and Russia made the score 1-0. From that point on, Portugal’s game-plan was that of catch-up, while Russia seemed, for the most part, to be content with expertly absorbing the Portuguese attacks. Ronaldo and Bruno Alves underlined Portugal’s intent by drawing two stellar saves out of the Russian goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev, but Russia’s defense was prepared for everything the Seleccao threw at them. Portugal looked sharp, however, and an equalizer did not look too unlikely. Fabio Coentrao hobbled off injured after just 20 minutes of play, weakening Portugal’s attack. The half ended at 1-0, with Portugal wondering how they had not yet scored.

Russia came out in the second half raring to go, while Portugal surprisingly looked off the pace and lethargic. One would think that after Portugal fell behind, they would come out of the gates ready to go, but that was not the case. The second half was decidedly a Russia affair, with only sharp saves from Rui Patricio saving Portugal’s blushes. Even the inclusion of Silvestre Varela (lately dubbed at Portugal’s supersub) and Eder (has scored four goals this season for Braga) could not turn the tides.

Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao(Miguel Lopes), Ruben Micael(Varela), Joao Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Ronaldo, Nani, Helder Postiga(Eder)

Man of the Match: Bruno Alves

Flop of the Match: Helder Postiga

PortuGoal Player Ratings

Highlights Here

Yannick in Transfer Limbo


Sporting winger Yannick Djalo is currently awaiting a decision from FIFA as to whether his transfer from the Portuguese giants to OGC Nice will be validated. The transfer happened a matter of minutes before the close of the window, and FIFA stated that the transfer occurred after 12:00 AM, thus making it invalid. OGC Nice’s coach, Jean-Pierre Rivere is confident that his appeal to FIFA will be successful, as the transfer was all in time (according to him). Yannick and Rivere are now awaiting a verdict.

Roma Interested in Nelson Oliveira


Nelson Oliveira

Benfica to Roma?

Following his impressive performances for Portugal in the U-20 World Cup, Nelson Oliveira is at the end of some unsurprising interest from one of the finest European teams. Roma is pondering making a bid for the forward, who won the silver boot at the recent U-20 World Cup. Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has stated that he will leave the striker in the first team this season, along with Luis Martins and Mika, but Roma are lurking. Roma’s sporting director is reportedly quite fond of the striker, and a move may happen in the near future.

Arsenal and Liverpool Eyeing Danilo Pereira


Danilo Pereira, of Parma FC, is a transfer target for Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool, according to reports coming out of Portugal. Danilo was one of Portugal’s standout players in their 2nd place finish in this summer’s U-20 World Cup. The holding midfielder currently plays for Parma FC in Italy. He is set to return to the club after he was loaned last season to Aris, in the Greek league. Danilo’s performances have not gone unnoticed, however. Arsenal and Liverpool are now interested, and though a move is unlikely, it still makes for a good story. Clubs such as Arsenal and Liverpool are not stupid in their interest in Danilo. He has shown signs that he will develop into a world-class defensive midfielder.

Portugal Fall in Extra Time


Portugal 2-3 Brazil

Portugal fell in extra time after a 111th minute strike from Oscar gave Brazil the advantage. Portugal were not favorites coming into this game, mainly due to their apparent lack of attacking prowess. Previous to the game, Portugal had only scored five goals in the entire competition. Attacking didn’t turn out to be the problem, however. Brazil ripped open Portugal’s defense on numerous occasions. The game started off on a sour note for the Seleccao when a deflected Oscar free kick wriggled its way into the back of the Portuguese net. Portugal responded quickly however, when Nelson Oliveira burst into the box and squared the ball into the onrushing Alex, who made no mistake with his finish. Portugal took the lead soon after. Nelson Oliveira blew past the Brazil defense, and finished from a tight angle to make the score 2-1 Portugal. The lead lasted for a little under 20 minutes, however. Oscar scored again to level the game at 2-2 and send the game into extra time. Oscar scored again and completed his hat-trick in extra time to give Brazil the victory in a game they dominated.

Mika, Cedric(Julio Alves), Mario Rui, Roderick, Nuno Reis, Danilo Pereira, Sergio Oliveira, Sana(Ricardo Dias), Pele, Alex(Caetano), Nelson Oliveira

HIGHLIGHTS HERE

Portugal Overcome France


Portugal 2-0 France

Portugal strolled to an easy 2-0 win over a strong France side to book a place in the final of the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Portugal got off to a great start when Danilo towered over the French defense to head home an Alex corner kick. France had their opportunities, but Portugal’s solid defense stood firm. Portugal doubled their lead soon after, when Nelson Oliveira converted his penalty kick. The Seleccao never looked back, and came out with a 2-0 win, and their goals conceded tally stay at zero.

Mika, Cedric, Mario Rui, Roderick, Nuno Reis, Pele, Danilo, Julio Alves, Alex(Luis Martins), Sergio Oliveira(Tiago Ferreira), Nelson Oliveira(Rafael Lopes)

HIGHLIGHTS HERE

Portugal into the Semis


The Portuguese Under-20 team booked a place in the semi-finals of the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup after a victorious penalty shoot-out with Argentina. The last time that Portugal advanced this far in a U-20 World Cup was back in 1995, when they achieved 3rd place in the competition. Portugal now have a realistic chance of equaling just that. Throughout this whole tournament, various player for Portugal have shown flashes of promise. These players will have to play very consistently well to overcome their semi-final opponent, France.

The game against Argentina was, for the most part, a largely boring affair. Neither team attacked with the ferocity that they are capable of. Argentina had scored six before this game and only conceded once. Portugal on the other hand, had only scored three and not conceded at all. In fact, Portugal are the only team in the competition that has yet to concede a goal, which is a testament to their defense. Both sides came close, with Argentina’s attacking movement mainly through Porto’s new signing, Iturbe. Portugal’s best chances fell to Caetano and Nelson Oliveira. Rafael Lopes also tested the opposition keeper on one occasion. After the score was still level after extra time, the game went into penalties. Argentina were up 3-1 on penalties, and the game looked finished. Mika then proceeded to save two penalties in a row, from Pirez and Ruiz. That, combined with Nelson Oliveira and Rafael Lopes scoring their penalties, sent the game into sudden death. Tiago Ferreira scored for Portugal, and Vuletic did likewise for Argentina. Sergio Oliveira then scored for Portugal. Then, Tagliafico stepped up for Argentina, and his shot was saved by Mika to send Portugal into the semi-finals.

Mika, Cedric, Luis Martins(Tiago Ferreira), Nuno Reis, Roderick, Sergio Oliveira, Pele, Danilo Pereira, Julio Alves(Sana), Caetano(Rafael Lopes), Nelson Oliveira

HIGHLIGHTS HERE